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CT Healthcare Jobs Decline

Posted on July 28, 2009

Although the medical industry is one that usually continues to grow, despite the economy, CT healthcare jobs are on the decline.

The State of Connecticut saw its first round of significant job losses in the healthcare industry in more than 10 years during Q2 of this year, according to the state Department of Labor. Since March, the state has lost 1,800 healthcare jobs, a decrease of almost .75 percent.

Even though Connecticut’s healthcare industry has added 3,000 jobs since June 2008, the industry has been seeing a month-to-month decline in positions. During June, the state lost 1,200 healthcare jobs, with losses spread among various sub-sectors.

Connecticut has a large healthcare industry overall, which could be why its seeing more losses. As of June, 14.8 percent of the state’s jobs were in healthcare, compared to 12.3 percent nationally.

For the most part, healthcare has remained a strong industry throughout the country. Specifically, the healthcare and social assistance sector employed 16,158,000 workers during June and had an unemployment rate of 5.2 percent, according to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. During May, the sector had 469,000 job openings and 382,000 hires. However, many professionals are wondering if the recent job losses in Connecticut are the first sign of a national decline.

Overall increasing unemployment is contributing to layoffs in the healthcare industry, as workers who have lost their health insurance are forgoing medical treatment. In addition, the declining credit market and lower state budgets have decreased capital expenditures, such as new technology purchases that could lead to new jobs.

Although job growth in the industry has declined from more than 3 percent in 2007 to 1.4 percent this June, that doesn’t necessarily mean the nation as a whole will begin to see healthcare job declines.

“Health care employment is a lagging indicator to a certain extent,” Xu Cheng, an economist with Moody’s Economy.com, said in an article by the Hartford Courant. “Though those who lost their jobs in the big loss months late last year and early this year are losing their insurance coverage, the economy appears to be stabilizing. Also, stimulus money going to Medicaid and other health care programs will mitigate losses.”

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