Healthcare Job Growth Outpaces Other Sectors, In Houston And Other Large Cities

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The healthcare industry continues to be a growing component of the national economy. In Houston, almost one in ten jobs are now in healthcare.

During the past decade, the U.S. entered a recession and is now in a recovery.

But healthcare jobs continued to grow during that time, increasing almost 23 percent since 2003.

By contrast, all other industries had two percent job growth.

Martha Ross is a policy analyst at the Brookings Institute, a progressive think tank in Washington, DC.

“Overall the healthcare industry is showing a strong, steady, long-term growth trend across the country and nationally.  We’ve got the aging of the Baby Boomers and older people tend to use more healthcare. And we’ve got a growing population.”

Healthcare now employs about 14.5 million people across the country.

The study by the Brookings Institute looked at the 100 largest metropolitan areas, and found more healthcare jobs in every single one than there were at the beginning of the recession.

Ross says Houston was no exception:

“In Houston, what the means is as of the first quarter of 2013, almost one in ten jobs were in healthcare — nine percent were — compared to before the recession, eight percent of the jobs were.”

But Houston had good job growth in other industries too, when compared to other cities. Houston added 24,000 jobs in healthcare, and 260,000 jobs overall.  

Ross says it’s hard to say how the federal health overhaul law will change job prospects in health care.

There will be more demand as more people get insurance, but the law also puts pressure on the industry to keep people out of the hospital and to coordinate care more efficiently between doctors, nurses and support workers. 

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Carrie Feibel

Health & Science Reporter

Carrie Feibel is KUHF's health and science reporter. She comes to Houston Public Radio after ten years as a print reporter...