Slow Growth from Bench to Bedside
This report is an addendum to The Economic Contributions of the Health Care Industry to the New England Region published by the New England Health Care Institute (NEHI) and the Milken Institute in February 2003. That report concluded that New England's multifaceted health care industry is a major contributor to the region's economic vitality, accounting for 11.4 percent of total employment. It also ranked New England first among nine U.S. census regions based on the percentage of workers directly employed in health care fields. But the study also uncovered an alarming trend: from 1980 to 2001 the percentage of total U.S. health care jobs based in New England declined from 7.3 percent to 6.7 percent, putting New England last in the nation in health care employment growth.
While New England has a long tradition of national prominence in health care and related fields, the region's ability to deliver future growth is in question. NEHI and the Milken Institute have undertaken this additional analysis to identify specifically which occupations have been growing and declining in the region. This analysis incorporates growth rates for 80 separate health care occupations spanning three years from 1999 to 2001. It benchmarks results for New England against those for the United States as a whole and for the Mid Atlantic region, which in many ways parallels New England and is a close peer in the percentage of workers employed in health care occupations.