The need for health workers remains, but is slowing

Senior Resource Connection was at the CareSource Resource and Job Fair on Tuesday, hiring for a variety of positions including home health aides, Meals on Wheels drivers and more.

“We’re basically a one-stop shop for seniors who need help,” said Candace J. Lee, director of human resources and operations at Senior Resource Connection.

Take a lookA shortage of workers for dementia patients, an aging population on the horizon, the report says

The services Senior Resource Connection provides include home health services, social services, meals on wheels, emergency response buttons and more to help individuals over 60 stay at home and not in a skilled nursing facility , said Kelly Corcoran, director of home care visiting at Senior Resource Connection. “We’re always hiring.”

“Especially after the pandemic, we can’t get people to stay at the door long enough. It’s hard for us to hire people at all who want to work, even part-time,” Corcoran said.

Nova Behavioral Health, which provides mental health and substance abuse treatment, went out on Tuesday looking to hire cooks, peer support specialists, outpatient program managers, counselors, technicians and more.

Nova has been affected by the labor shortage, but not to their detriment, said Mercedes Johnson, director of administration. Nova helps employees obtain the necessary credentials to work in the behavioral health field.

Health care jobs are expected to grow 13 percent from 2021 to 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is expected to create approximately 2 million new jobs over the decade. There are also expected to be 1.9 million job openings on average annually due to growth and replacement needs.

Locally, Premier Health has more than 2,900 jobs posted and Kettering Health has more than 1,100 jobs posted, according to Ohio Means Jobs.

The median annual salary for health care practitioners and technical occupations — such as registered nurses, physicians and surgeons, and dental hygienists — was $75,040 in May 2021. Health care support occupations — such as home health and personal care aides, labor assistants therapy and medical transcriptionists – had a median annual salary of $29,880 in May 2021.

Take a lookThe proposed federal law would set nurse-to-patient staffing levels

The labor force participation rate of 62.6% continued to rise in March, but it was still below the pre-pandemic level of 63.3% in February 2020.

“Job seekers are a little bit more empowered than they’ve ever been where they can kind of choose,” Reid said. “You have a lot of power right now if you’re looking for work, especially if you’re willing to work and want to work, the sky’s the limit right now.”

Other industries are also trying to find workers. Cors Head Start, which provides early childhood education programs and serves nine counties, was hiring teachers and early childhood service coordinators at CareSource’s event Tuesday.

“We’re actually starting to get people right now. I think people are coming back into the workforce,” said Angie Westfall, recruiting coordinator.

Income and job security are also among the social determinants of health that can affect individuals’ health, functioning and quality of life.

“There are correlations between higher incomes and better health outcomes,” Reid said.

One in 10 people live in poverty in the US, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, which affects their access to food and adequate housing. The more you make, the easier it is to buy better food and better housing, and to enable people to afford the health care visits they need.

“Whether we’re talking about food, whether we’re talking about housing, it’s just that the more income somebody brings in, the easier life is in general,” Reid said.

Working in numbers

  • 34K: US healthcare jobs added in March
  • 54K: Monthly US Health Care Jobs Added Feb-Sept.
  • 52K+: Health-related job openings in Ohio

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