Recent reports indicate the creation of 11,600 new employment positions in the healthcare industry during the month of October 2011. The two areas that experienced the most new job growth were ambulatory care and hospitals. Nationwide unemployment rates dropped slightly in October, but healthcare experienced a greater rate of job growth than most sectors of the economy. The number of healthcare jobs added in October was a drop off from the 43,800 new positions that were created in September 2011. In these times of economic depression any growth is considered good growth.

Despite numerous concerns about unemployment rates and uncertainty in the U.S. economy, the healthcare sector is still being called a “growth industry” by many experts. During a recent community discussion forum held by Congresswoman Lois Capps at Hancock College in Santa Maria many health educators and actual healthcare providers voiced their opinions and gave specific reasons why the healthcare industry is growing and will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.

There are many economic indicators of the strong growth present in this industry, such as the projected creation of 3.2 million new jobs between 2008 and 2018. This amount of new jobs exceeds that expected of any other sector of the economy. These new jobs can be attributed to a variety of factors including the emergence of new fields under the healthcare umbrella and the creation of local and national tuition and loan repayment programs to make healthcare education more accessible.

Various ideas that were discussed by panel members at the recent forum include the development of mentorship programs for recent graduates to help them gain clinical experience before they enter the workforce. Compensation might be provided at the Federal level for the mentors who would be spending their time teaching new grads how to handle real life healthcare situations. Additional ideas included job placement assistance for military medics ending their service term and seeking regular full-time employment in a healthcare position.

Many initiatives and funding programs have recently been established to help encourage healthcare education and push people into this field. This is an indication of how strongly many people believe in this industry as a future powerhouse in our nation’s economy.