In 2011, ambulatory services, which include physicians' offices, accounted for 64% of the job growth in healthcare. The subsector created 18,500 jobs in January and 191,400 jobs in 2011, after creating 166,100 jobs in 2010.
Michael T. Rowan, COO at Englewood, CO-based Catholic Health Initiatives, says he expects healthcare job growth to continue well into the future as Baby Boomers age, and healthcare reforms expand health insurance coverage to an additional 30 million people and place more demands on healthcare providers.
"Certainly healthcare is one of the few bright spots in the economy," he says. "It is the nature of healthcare that we are always going to be around. Health is one of those universal issues that affect everyone. We are an industry that is everywhere. Even the smallest community has healthcare in one form or another."
Rowan says the top driver for job growth at CHI is information technology.
"There is a mandate to get to meaningful use under healthcare reform and people are putting in clinical information technology systems and that is fueling significant hiring," he says. "In our organization we are looking at about $1.5 billion we are going to spend over five years to upgrade our clinical IT and we are hiring nearly 400 additional people just to be able to install and then manage those systems. That doesn't even count toward the hiring that has taken place in our local markets."