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Health-Care Hiring Grows Faster Than Expected

The healthcare industry shows growth of nearly 200,000 jobs in 2009.

The health care industry has added nearly 200,000 jobs, up 1.4 percent, in 2009.

Health-care jobs grew more than 19,000 in September as the industry continues to buck the trend of most sectors during the recession, according to Workforce Management. Health care has seen an expansion of more than 195,000 jobs in 2009 or 1.4 percent growth according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The growth has come in home health care and outpatient offices, but hospital jobs have been more limited with 0.1 percent growth in 2009, Workforce said.

Physician-office staffing grew by about 0.2 percent in September, adding 5,300 employees to a workforce of 2.3 million. A year ago, physician-office employment grew in September by about 0.3 percent. Home health care services grew by 0.4 percent in September, adding 4,400 workers to a total employment of 1 million, the same percentage as a year ago… In the past 12 months, hospitals, physician offices and home health care agencies added 49,600, 51,700 and 58,700 jobs, respectively. The industry as a whole added 283,300 in that time.

Some workers have chosen to switch careers and be retrained for health care jobs in the hopes of finding greater opportunity. Colin Ford, a former ESPN producer, is now a director of corporate strategy at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center after getting a graduate degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University, says The New York Times article “For Outsiders, Opening Doors to Health Care.”

After 11 months of graduate classes in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a year as a paid apprentice at a Baltimore hospital, he had a master’s degree in health science and management.

Mr. Ward stayed at the hospital, Lifebridge Health, for three more years and in 2007 moved to his current post at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Towson, Md., as director of corporate strategy. Still a big sports fan, he produces Ravens football games for WBAL radio on weekends.

Other individuals coming into health care include an HR executive from the supermarket industry and former White House staff member, James Platts, who worked previously as a junior member of the National Economic Council and the Nasdaq stock exchange. Platts, who now works in San Francisco for the Boston Consulting Group, received a joint business and public-health degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

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