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Healthcare Shows High Job Growth, Low Productivity

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, June 25, 2012

The healthcare sector will create 5.6 million new jobs, from drug reps to bedside nurses, by 2020.

That's according to a new study by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, which projects that the demand for healthcare services will grow twice as fast as the national economy over the next eight years.

"If you include pharmaceuticals and healthcare manufacturing as part of healthcare, which we do in some of our numbers, you are talking about a sector that now produces 16 million jobs and will produce 20 million jobs by 2020, which is huge," Anthony P. Carnevale, the Center's director and the report's lead author, tells HealthLeaders Media. "By then it should be a 160 million job economy and 20 million of those jobs will be in healthcare, and there won't be any sectors bigger than that."

This might be good news for people on a certain career path, or for drug makers or medical device manufacturing companies. By 2020 one in five dollars created in the economy will go to healthcare. The healthcare sector already is the single largest source of new jobs in the overall economy, according to monthly job reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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