Confidence levels among healthcare workers decreased in the fourth quarter of 2013 by 4.1 points to 55.1. According to the government’s monthly jobs report, healthcare companies shed 6,000 positions in December—the first down month since January 2003—which could very well explicate the bleak end-of-year sentiments shared across the board in the healthcare field.
Comparatively, the healthcare industry still has a higher level of confidence when looking at the combined outlook of all other industries—55.1 versus 53.8. In addition, confidence levels at 50.0 or higher indicate an optimistic overall outlook—which has been the case since the inception of the healthcare survey in the first quarter of 2012.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ January jobs report saw the unemployment rate dip down to 6.6 percent—the lowest it’s been since before the economic downfall in 2007–2008 and a sign of positive trends to come, across-the-board.
According to a recent article by CNN Money, 2013 was the slowest year of growth for the healthcare industry since 1999—adding only 207,600 jobs compared to the 320,600 jobs added in 2012. Analysts equate this phenomenon to “taking a breather;” the healthcare industry was virtually recession proof during the economic slump and is now taking a long-awaited pause.
Regardless, according to the BLS, occupations and industries related to healthcare are anticipated to add the most new jobs between 2012 and 2022. Total employment is projected to increase 10.8 percent, or 15.6 million, during the decade.
From the Desk of Steve McMahan, President of Randstad Healthcare
"Although confidence from the healthcare industry dipped in the fourth quarter, we see this as a temporary reflection."
In a study released last month from the Department of Labor, an estimated one-third of all new jobs in the U.S.—or 250,000 jobs per month—will be created in the healthcare sector by 2020.
Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects there will be a substantial increase in job openings resulting from the need to replace workers who retire, or otherwise permanently leave a position. Job openings due to replacement needs are expected in every occupation, even those, unlike healthcare, that are projected to decline in employment.
Overall, the healthcare landscape continues to thrive, and despite the slight decrease in our Employee Confidence Index in the last quarter of 2013, employees in the healthcare field remain generally positive, especially when compared to their peers in other industry sectors.
A closer look at the findings:
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Randstad Healthcare among 3,113 adults ages 18 and older, of which 148 are employed in healthcare, which included physicians, healthcare administrators, as well as other healthcare professionals. Data was collected October 8-10, November 6-8 and December 3-5, 2013. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Randstad Healthcare Employment Report
This quarterly Randstad Healthcare Employment Report provides a snapshot of the latest workforce trends among healthcare professionals across the country. Three key indices are measured: the Healthcare Job Security Index, which captures how likely respondents think it is that they will lose their job or that their job will be eliminated in the next 12 months; the Healthcare Job Transition Index, which captures how likely respondents are to look for a new job in the next 12 months; and the Employee Confidence Index that measures employees’ overall confidence in the economy, their employer and their ability to find other employment.
The Employee Confidence Index is calculated from the results of four components that reflect these aspects of employee confidence. For each component item a ‘score’ is calculated by taking the difference of the percentage of positive responses and the percentage of negative responses. These four scores are then averaged to indicate an overall level of employee confidence and is then scaled from 0 (no confidence) to 100 (complete confidence). A reading above 50 indicates a positive confidence level.
About Randstad Healthcare
Randstad Healthcare is one of the largest healthcare staffing firms in the U.S. and offers market leading, all-inclusive healthcare staffing solutions. Randstad Healthcare has been matching healthcare professionals with career opportunities at America’s top healthcare facilities for over 25 years. From large hospital systems and rural medical centers, to physician groups, insurance companies, clinics and Fortune 500 companies, Randstad Healthcare offers full-service staffing capabilities, including physicians, nurses, advanced practice, case management, allied health and vendor managed services.
For more information, please visit www.randstadhealthcare.com.