Skip to main content

Healthcare Online Job Ads on Upswing

 |  By John Commins  
   January 06, 2010

A new report released today shows that the growth of overall online job listings in most employment sectors ended 2009 on a positive note in December, with demand for healthcare practitioners, technicians, and support personnel leading the rally.

The Conference Board's Help Wanted Online Data Series, which tracks more than 1,000 online job boards across the United States, found that advertised vacancies for healthcare practitioners and technical occupations, the largest category by volume, also posted the largest December gain, with 45,100 new online listings, for a total of 541,400 online listings.

The sector had 497,400 online job vacancy listings in November, and 533,300 in October. Job demand was up in a wide variety of these healthcare occupations, including registered nurses and physical and occupational therapists. Demand for lower-paying healthcare support occupations rose by 9,200 listings in December—to 111,900, the report showed.

Because healthcare is such a broad field, the report noted that the demand for labor varies substantially from the highly specialized, highly skilled, and higher-paying practitioner and technical jobs to the lower-paying support occupations.

"In November, the last month for which unemployment data are available, advertised vacancies for healthcare practitioners or technical occupations outnumbered the unemployed looking for work in this field by almost three to one, and the average wage in these occupations is $32.64/hour. In sharp contrast, the average wage for healthcare support occupations is $12.66/hour and there were almost three unemployed looking for work in the field for every advertised vacancy," the report noted.

For all industries, online job demand grew by 255,000 advertised vacancies in December, the report added.

"Employers' modest increase in demand for labor in the second half of 2009 is a nice way to end what has been a very challenging year," said Gad Levanon, senior economist at The Conference Board. "The gap between the number of unemployed and the number of advertised vacancies is still very high, but the recent six months indicate that things are slowly moving in the right direction. The gap between the number of unemployed and the number of advertised vacancies is about 12 million, with 4.5 unemployed for every online advertised vacancy."

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which will release its employment statistics for December and all of 2009 on Friday, has shown that the healthcare sector is one of the few areas in the economy that has seen monthly job growth throughout the recession, although that growth has slowed considerably in 2009.

John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.

Tagged Under:

Get the latest on healthcare leadership in your inbox.