BLS Updates of Employment Projections
Nov. 1, 2017
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released updates of employment projections for health care occupations in late October. It’s more good news for Concorde students, alumni and prospective students.
Employment of health care occupations is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026. That’s much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.3 million new jobs. Heath care occupations are projected to add more jobs than any of the other occupational groups. This projected growth is mainly due to an aging population, leading to greater demand for health care services.
Especially good time for respiratory therapists in health care occupations
The BLS updates its occupational outlook, including health care occupations, every two years. The occupation which boasted the biggest gain in growth over the last two years was that of respiratory therapist.
Two years ago, employment of RTs was projected to grow 12 percent between 2014 and 2024. That rate of growth has jumped to 23 percent from 2016-2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth in the middle-aged and elderly populations will lead to an increased incidence of respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia. These respiratory disorders can permanently damage the lungs or restrict lung function.
Also good time for medical assistants in health care occupations
Medical assistants were the other big winners in the employment projection sweepstakes. Employment projections in that occupation jumped from an already-healthy 23 percent two years ago to 29 percent currently.
The growth of the aging baby-boom population will continue to increase demand for preventive medical services, which often are provided by physicians. Physicians will hire more assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical duties, allowing physicians to see more patients.
Other winners among health care occupations
Other health care occupations to enjoy growth in their employment outlooks over the last two years included medical office administration, which jumped from 17 percent two years ago to 20, pharmacy technologist and radiologic technologist, both of which increased from nine to 12 percent, health care administrator, which jumped from 17 percent to 20, massage therapist, 22 to 24 percent, dental assistant, which increased from 18 to 19 percent, dental hygienist, 19 to 20.