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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

Topic: employment

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July 1, 2013 at 10:30 AM

A health-care boom or bubble

Healthjobs

Here’s a look at where the jobs have been added over the past 10 years: Heavily in health care. The chart is profound because the trend line showed virtually no effect from the Panic of 2008 (aka “The Great Recession”). Also, as millions of manufacturing jobs were lost after China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2000 and because of other factors, the 2000s even before the bust were a lost decade for jobs. But not in health care. Indeed, going back to 2000 we would be at a net jobs loss accounting for population growth without that one sector.

The Brookings Institution reported today that the health-care sector now employs 14.5 million people, or about 10.3 percent of jobs, spanning all levels of skills and wages. Its 22.7 percent growth rate compares with 2.1 percent jobs increase for all other sectors. Health support workers earn 37 percent less on average than all workers in large metros. But health-care employment and a robust biomedical/biosciences economy do not necessarily coincide.

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Comments | More in Health care | Topics: Brookings Institution, employment, health care