The Health Care Workforce in New York, 2015-2016: Trends in the Supply and Demand for Health Workers

Policy Updates

The Center for Health Workforce Studies has released their annual report Trends in the Supply and Demand for Health Workers—providing New York State policymakers, and other stakeholders with critical information on supply and demand of healthcare occupations across New York. This analysis is intended to address the following objectives:

  • To identify the most urgent health workforce needs for targeting workforce development and training investments
  • To guide health workforce policies
  • To inform current and prospective students about health care employment opportunities

Employment in the health care industry continues to grow in NYC, increasing by 28 percent over the past ten years, and outpacing every other region in the state. Hospitals continue to be the largest employer of healthcare workers in the City, accounting for 43 percent of all health care workers, though this sector has not added many jobs over the past several years and is not projected to grow dramatically over the coming decade. On the other hand, home health aides represent the largest single healthcare occupation, with over 110,000 workers, and the fastest growing, increasing by 43 percent between 2010 and 2014. They are also the lowest paid of all healthcare workers, earning an average wage of just over $11 per hour.

A unique and important feature of this research is analysis of survey data from Federally Qualified Health Centers, Nursing Homes, Hospitals, and Home Health Agencies, identifying which occupations present the greatest challenges for recruitment and retention. Hospitals reported the greatest difficultly recruiting for medical coders, licensed mental health counselors, and nurse managers. Retention was difficult for coders and for physician assistants. Hospitals reported shortages in nurse practitioners and lab technologists. In nursing homes, all levels of nursing staff were difficult to recruit, but CNAs were the most challenging to retain. FQHCS reported difficulty recruiting and retaining occupational therapists, and physical therapists. Bilingual staff were difficult to recruit especially for nursing homes and FQHCs.

For the first time the report included analysis of occupations specific to behavioral health. Of particular note, across the state—including NYC–organizations, especially Federally Qualified Health Centers reported difficulty recruiting and retaining Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners. Additionally, Licensed Mental Health Counselors were among the hardest positions for hospitals in NYC to recruit.

The full report can be found here on NYACH’s website.