Healthcare Staffing Report: Sept. 19, 2013

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Healthcare staffing growth falling short of expectations in 2013

The U.S. healthcare staffing market will grow 4 percent year-over-year in 2013, far lower than our original projection of 9 percent, according to the updated forecast published last week by Staffing Industry Analysts.

Overall growth in healthcare employment has been constrained this year due in large part to the impact of sequestration. Beyond the 2 percent across-the-board cuts to Medicare, budgets for other government agencies that impact hiring in the healthcare industry, including the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health, have been similarly reduced.

While growth projections for locum tenens and travel nursing were trimmed moderately, the bulk of the reduction was driven by allied health, which is now anticipated to decline 3 percent from last year. Beyond the effect of sequestration, the allied segment has endured Medicare payment changes that have drastically reduced hiring activity in certain therapy occupations.

“We have a positive outlook for growth in the market for temporary workers with healthcare skills,” explained Timothy Landhuis, author of the U.S. Staffing Industry Forecast: September Update. “Although growth in 2013 appears to have decelerated in part due to cuts and delays related to physical and occupational therapy reimbursements from the government, we forecast reacceleration in 2014 as healthcare staffing continues to benefit from the secular growth in total healthcare jobs due to an aging U.S. population, as well as the buildup of staff at healthcare companies in preparation for as many as 20 million newly insured individuals due to healthcare reform.”

In 2014, the healthcare staffing market in the U.S. is now forecast to grow 7 percent year-over-year, to $10.5 billion.

Corporate members can access the full report here.

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