There's debate on whether or not that growth in the healthcare sector is healthy for the rest of the economy. Healthcare and education occupy an odd place in the overall economy as two sectors with positive job growth and negative per-worker productivity (as measured by the gross domestic output divided by the number of people working in the sector.) Every dollar that goes into healthcare is a dollar taken from elsewhere in the economy.
Shelp works in the realm of data and she is hesitant to predict the pace of healthcare job growth in the coming years, especially now that the constitutional questions around the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have been addressed.
"I don't do an awful lot of forecasting, but if I was thinking about it, given the population, I am not sure where we are going to go with this new healthcare piece that is out there," she says. "Clearly it is not going away. In fact there will continue to be demand. Exactly how that changes I don't know."