Charlotte Works is pleased to continue Workforce By The Numbers, spotlighting workforce research from around the region. Data and analysis is provided through our partnership with the Charlotte Chamber.
If “demographics is destiny,” the healthcare industry is poised for tremendous growth, providing outstanding employment prospects long into the future. Consider this: over the next 20 years, our region is expected to grow by eight percent. During this same period, the group of citizens aged 65 and over is forecasted to grow by 40 percent, with those aged 75 to 79 years experiencing the fastest growth of all age cohorts at 57 percent.
In our previous examination of healthcare, we examined trends providing overall career strategies in mid-skill occupations over several years. This analysis will take a deeper dive into mid-skill nursing opportunities.
Nursing serves as the cornerstone of the healthcare industry, with licensed practical/vocational nurses and nursing assistants capturing 50 percent of mid-skill healthcare employment. These professions have relatively low barriers of entry and require a post-secondary certificate and no previous work experience; they also offer median hourly earnings of $20.48 and $11.04, respectively. They provide a gateway to becoming a registered nurse or one of several other “in-demand” occupations with compatible skills, such as physician assistants and midwives.
Licensed practical/vocational nurses
Licensed practical/vocational nurses provide basic nursing care under the direction of registered nurses and doctors. One indicator of companies with aggressive hiring goals in a specific position is the job-posting intensity, which is determined by taking the total number of job postings and removing multiple postings that list the same job with the same company in the same region and reducing it to one unique posting. In October 2014, there were 1,775 total job postings, of which 184 were unique. These numbers give us a posting intensity of 10-to-1, meaning that for every 10 postings, there is one unique job posting. This indicates that companies may be more aggressively trying to hire licensed practical/vocational nurses.
A second indicator is unique postings versus hires. Over the past year, in an average month, there were 175 unique job postings for licensed practical/vocational nurses; 189 were actually filled, indicating approximately one person was hired for every unique job posted. Bayada Home Health Care, Maxim Healthcare Services and PSA Healthcare were among the top companies posting.
There were 829 total postings for nursing assistants in October 2014, of which 77 were unique. These numbers give us a posting intensity of 11-to-1, meaning that for every 11 postings, there is one unique job posting. This is slightly higher than the posting intensity for licensed practical/vocation nurses.
From October 2013 to October 2014, each month there were an average 87 unique job postings for nursing assistants with 539 actually filled. This means there were approximately six hires for nursing assistants for every unique job posting. The top companies hiring these positions are Bayada Home Health Care, Carolinas HealthCare System, Brookdale Senior Living, Inc. and Maxim Healthcare Services.
As the data indicates, we’ve experienced increased demand in these key occupations and identified companies that are doing the lion’s share of the hiring. In addition, the job-posting intensity provides additional insight into how “willing” or aggressive employers are regarding their hiring in these positions.
Paul E. Hendershot serves as director of research at the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. Prior to joining the Charlotte Chamber team, he worked as manager of business development in the commercial real estate department at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and spent four years as the research director at the Dallas Regional Chamber. During his tenure with the Chamber, Hendershot completed more than 100 unique economic development projects including Comerica, AT&T, Gulfstream, Arbitron, Capital One and Research in Motion. He is also founder and chief economist of Hendershot Economics, where he defined the life sciences industry for BIOCOM, among other projects in the Greater San Diego region.
Data included in this article is inclusive of North Carolina’s Southwest Region Prosperity Zone, which includes Anson, Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and Union counties.