Report: Health care job trends in metro Detroit grew 13 percent since December

Posted on April 6, 2011

The health care job index in Southeast Michigan grew 13 percent during first three months of this year, but Detroit was only the 14th-fastest-growing health care labor market in the nation, according to Health Workforce Solutions, a San Francisco-based consulting firm.

Health Workforce’s health care labor index for Detroit-Warren-Livonia increased to 48.6 in the quarter that ended March 31, up from 43 in December.

The national average was 51.5, a 4 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2010.

Health Workforce’s labor index combines data including temporary shortages and surpluses in the health care work force, facility and bed closures, announced layoffs, expansions and construction projects.

“After some sluggishness that mirrored the broader economy, we seem to finally be seeing some meaningful positive movement in the health care labor markets,” said David Cherner, Health Workforce’s managing partner.

The demand for health care workers was strongest in Baltimore; Charlotte, N.C.; and Miami. At the bottom of the 30 markets tracked were Cleveland, Las Vegas and San Diego.

Over the past several years, health care has been Michigan’s largest private-sector employer, providing or creating jobs for nearly 914,900 residents who earn more than $45 billion a year in wages, salaries and benefits, according to the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.

By Jay Greene, Crain’s Detroit