Health Care A “Growth Engine”

BOSTON — The New England Economic Partnership released a study last month showing that health care is one of the top three sectors (along with education and business services) that will serve as the state’s “growth engines” through the end of 2005, creating two-thirds of the new jobs in Massachusetts during that time.

 

Statistics from the Mass. Dept. of Employment and Training support the partnership’s conclusion, showing that, between January 2001 and January 2004 — when Massachusetts unemployment fell by 7{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} — health services employment rose 6{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} and hospital employment by 12{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5}. But further growth opportunities still exist; hospitals are still dealing with shortages, resulting in vacancies among nurses, radiological technicians, and pharmacists, among other areas.

People are pursuing the opportunities health care careers afford, but there are waiting lists to get into specific education programs due to a lack of faculty at area colleges, said Mass. Hospital Assoc. President Ronald Hollander.

According to the American Assoc. of Colleges of Nursing, this clogged pipeline at the educational level resulted in 11,3045 qualified applicants being turned away from nursing schools in 2001, he said. “These are good jobs, people are interested in them, and we don’t need to create them,” he continued. “We just need to fill them.”