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Healthcare Unemployment Rate at Record Low

Healthcare Unemployment Rate at Record Low

Although the healthcare industry is well-known as being one of the major pillars of stability in the U.S. economy, there are still those that are unable to find work despite this fact. However, that number has been on an average decline as the industry adds thousands of new jobs monthly.

In fact, in 2016 alone, healthcare added more jobs than any other sector of the U.S. economy, pushing overall job growth to over 2.2 million and creating high expectations for 2017. Thus far, it has not let us down as growth rates have continued to increase and unemployment has hit all-time lows in recent months.

The State of the Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry has added, on average, 24,000 new jobs per month in 2017. Although this number is down from the 2016 average of 32,000 jobs per month, on average, throughout 2016, growth is expected to remain consistent, barring any major changes to contributing factors, such as the ratification of the American Health Care Act.

Month Employment
March 2017 19,346,700
April 2017  19,394,800
May 2017 19,424,500
June 2017 19,483,600


In June 2017, healthcare employment rose by 37,000, primarily in employment in ambulatory health care services (+26,000) and hospitals (+12,000), and industry saw record-low unemployment rates at 2.5% in April 2017.

Month Unemployment Rate
March 2.8%
April 2.5%
May 2.9%
June 2.9%


Employment in selected health care industries

As shown by the graph to the right, job growth in most of the sub-sectors making up the health care industry are continuing to outpace their 12-month average monthly changes.

These include hospitals, physician's offices, home health services, and outpatient care centers.

Healthcare Unemployment & Hiring

As with any industry, hiring is highly-competitive and even though a multitude of new jobs are being added monthly, the number added to your local economy could be quite small. This means that its still crucial to job-seeker success that they craft the best resume and cover letter possible prior to applying, casting themselves in the most favorable light without including false information.

The other side of this coin is that, with more available job openings, the competition among employers for the most qualified candidates is becoming tooth and nail. Employers are beginning to offer higher salaries and more attractive benefits packages in order to lure talent from their competitors.

Employers are also looking to increase their employee retention rates, as searching for new, qualified candidates to fill unexpectedly-open positions can be very costly and time-consuming.

For a job seeker, this is great news! In the labor market, you are the product and you are very much in demand.

What Does This Mean for Job Seekers?

Whether you've just recently graduated and on the hunt for your first position or a seasoned veteran with years of experience in your area of expertise, lower unemployment rates in the healthcare industry should factor into your career choices. As we've mentioned before, in the labor market, the job seeker is the commodity and the organization or hiring party functions as the consumer.

This means that when you're searching for a position, shopping around for the best deal for you is the key to getting paid what you're worth and more. This is a fairly basic principle, and you ought not to take the competition lightly. Consider a facility that is drastically short on nurses. In order to attract qualified candidates to fill their organization's openings, hiring managers will increase their budget and expand their marketing efforts in order to reach the right people.

The increased investment in recruitment is factored into their decisions throughout the hiring process. Once they've got a batch of candidates they have high confidence in, they are much more prone to negotiating - increasing benefits and their salary in order to keep them from going to a potential competitor.

The main point is this: when hunting for a job in a high-demand field, keep in mind that you have the option to go to the competition. Employers are well aware of this and many will go out of their way to get you to stay with them considering the time and cost they've invested in narrowing down the candidates.

Avoid undervaluing yourself and cutting yourself short by fielding multiple offers and use that leverage in the negotiation process to get the best deal!