Brookings reports 10-year jobs growth in health care sector

According to a Brookings Institution report, health care employment remains on the uptick — especially in the nation’s 100 major metropolitan markets.

The report, about which the Sunday edition of the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported (linked here), shows that national budget cuts and consumer economic concerns have resulted in the elimination of some health care jobs across the country, while health care employment nationwide grew 10 times faster than that of the broader economy over the past decade.

In Tennessee, Brookings found that health care accounted for 11.4 percent of all jobs in Knoxville, 11.1 percent in Nashville, 10.9 percent in Memphis and 10.6 percent in Chattanooga.

Nationwide, the number of health care jobs expanded by nearly 23 percent, or 2.6 million jobs, from 2002 to 2012, the Brookings Institution found. Even during the Great Recession, health care employment grew in all 100 major metro markets in the country, according to the report.

"Even though the healthcare field is in the midst of major changes, it remains a labor-intensive enterprise," said Martha Ross, a Brookings analyst. Ross added that health care employment will continue to grow as baby boomers age and are more likely to use health care services.

The report further states that the health care industry employs about 14.5 million people nationwide and accounts for 10.3 percent of jobs nationally.