Home Health Job Growth Outpaces All Other Health Care Settings

Home health care—an industry that knows staff turnover all too well—is adding jobs at a faster pace than any other health care employment setting, new data show.

Over the past 12 months, home health care added 74,900 jobs for a growth rate of 5.8%, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data by the Altarum Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit health care research and consulting organization based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

That’s higher than outpatient care centers’ job growth rate of 4.2%, hospital jobs’ growth rate of 3.7%, and nursing and residential care’s job growth rate of 1.2% over the past 12 months.

The home health care industry added 30,000 jobs in the first quarter of 2016, the analysis reveals. Specifically, home health care added about 10,000 jobs in each month of 2016’s first quarter, higher than the 12-month average of 7,000 jobs.

The findings support widespread predictions that home health will be among the fastest-growing employment sectors as the population ages.

Additionally, in March 2016, home health care services accounted for about 9% of health care employment. And although nursing and residential care facilities accounted for approximately 21% of health care employment that month, there may be more turnover trouble brewing in that job market, the data show.

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Lately, residential care facilities seem to be having greater success than skilled nursing facilities when it comes to attracting employees. In the first quarter of 2016, residential care facilities gained 13,000 jobs and skilled nursing facilities lost 12,000 jobs. The shift resulted in job growth in nursing and residential care slowing to 1,000 new jobs in the first quarter of 2016, down from 4,000 new jobs in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson