Healthcare worker job outlook perception, reality don't match

January 3, 2013

Healthcare workers are becoming more hesitant when it comes to looking for new jobs, but they are increasingly certain they could find one if they needed to, according to a new quarterlypoll from staffing and human resources services firm Randstad Healthcare.

 

Healthcare workers are becoming more hesitant when it comes to looking for new jobs, but they are increasingly certain they could find one if they needed to, according to a new quarterlypoll from staffing and human resources services firm Randstad Healthcare.

Overall employee confidence dropped in the third quarter of 2012-probably because of uncertainty over healthcare reform and whether the nation would drop over the “fiscal cliff,” as well as stock market volatility, Randstad notes. The report surveyed nearly 300 healthcare workers, including physicians, healthcare administrators, and other providers.

“Despite a slight decrease among a few of the confidence measures, such as intentions to seek new employment and overall strength of the economy, the healthcare industry remains one of the fastest-growing sectors,” says Steve McMahan, executive vice president of Randstad. “The reality is that healthcare jobs will be in high demand for many years to come, due to an aging population, healthcare reform, and technological advances.”

The report cites growing demand in healthcare jobs from a variety of other recent reports, including one from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and Workforce that predicts the nation’s overall number of healthcare workers will need to increase by nearly 30% by 2020 to meet demand. Randstad also references an estimate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that lists the growth in healthcare jobs over the past year alone at nearly 300,000.

On the ground floor, however, the view is different, according to the Randstad study. The number of polled healthcare workers who believe more jobs are available dropped this quarter by 11%, with only 13% believing more jobs available in healthcare compared with 24% in the second quarter of 2012. More than half (54%) of respondents say they think less jobs available.

Still, those workers aren’t overly concerned about having to find a new job. Confidence in job security is up-rising from 70% to 76% of survey participants from the second to third quarter in 2012. According to the study, 68% of polled healthcare workers are confident in the future of their employers-compared with 58% last quarter-and 55% are more optimistic about their ability to find a new job if they had to, despite their concerns about how many jobs are available. Yet although they are confident in their ability to find new jobs, only 23% of surveyed healthcare workers say they anticipate looking for a new job over the next year, representing a 14% drop from the figure reported by workers in the second quarter.