California Lags Behind Nationwide Trends for Health Care Job Growth
Despite increases in health care industry employment nationwide, job growth in California's health care sector has stalled during the ongoing recession, the Los Angeles Times reports. About one in 10 Californians work in the health care sector.
Since October 2009, the U.S. health care sector has added about 318,000 jobs. Over the same period, California added about 9,000 health care jobs.
In a recent study, the California Institute for Nursing and Health Care found that only 57% of California's recent nursing school graduates were working as registered nurses in mid-2010. About one in five of the California graduates who were not working in the nursing field reported they had been seeking employment as a nurse for more than 12 months.
Decline in Demand for Health Services
California health care workers are facing an unusually challenging job market, partially because of the state's 12.4% unemployment rate, which is the third highest nationwide.
Many state residents who lost their jobs during the recession also lost their employer-based health insurance. As a result, many uninsured residents are forgoing or delaying medical care.
The decline in demand for medical services means that fewer health care jobs need to be filled. The stalled job market has affected a wide range of positions, including medical technicians, nurses and support staff.
Health Care Cuts
California's health care job market also might be under strain because of state cuts in public health care spending.
In addition, many hospitals are reducing staff in an effort to trim their overall costs (Semuels, Los Angeles Times, 11/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.