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July 02, 2013

Where the Jobs Are

This isn't surprising, given the combination of massive public investments and changing demographics:

In the last ten years, job growth in America's non-health-care economy has been dreadful. Just 2.1 percent total -- or barely 0.2 percent per year. (Yes, that's point-two percent annual growth.) In that time, the U.S. health care sector has grown more than ten-times faster than the rest of the economy, adding 2.6 million jobs.

Healthcare Job Changes.jpg

The 20 year trend is even more impressive.

Posted by Cassandra at July 2, 2013 05:49 AM

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Clearly it's time to unroll my new business concept, "Philosophical Medicine." It's good for what ails you! And we take Medicare.

Posted by: Grim at July 2, 2013 10:17 AM

Let me guess, your slogan is, "You think, therefore you are...sick!"

Posted by: DL Sly at July 2, 2013 01:26 PM

I was going to borrow the old G.I. Joe tagline: "Knowing is half the battle."

Posted by: Grim at July 2, 2013 02:18 PM

I wonder if the "healthcare industry" numbers include companies *supplying* healthcare...medical supplies companies, xray and cat scanner makers, pharmaceutical makers, janitorial services serving hospitals, software companies selling EMR systems, etc etc....my guess would be that they do not. Which would make the contrast even more dramatics.

Posted by: david foster at July 2, 2013 03:24 PM

A few years ago whilst doing research on the most popular college majors, I was shocked to see that women gravitate to the very tech oriented majors... but there's a caveat - they tend to be medical fields that involve caring for other people.

There's a real irony here, I think. For as long as I can remember, feminists have been complaining that society doesn't value traditionally "female" work (caring for the young, the sick, the aged). Given the demographics of a maturing and wealthy society, I suspect that's about to change, big time :p

Posted by: Cass at July 2, 2013 03:33 PM

Just as an aside, we've been dealing with an extended period of convalescence with a close family member for the past few months, and I have to say I've been impressed with the male nurses I've encountered. They may be few, but they've been pretty sharp so far.

So I also wonder: if the money goes to health care, will we see more male nurses, PA's, therapists, etc? My parents have a guy who opened a gym used mostly by older folks. He's just great, and clearly loves his job.

Posted by: Cass at July 2, 2013 03:36 PM

Clearly it's time to unroll my new business concept, "Philosophical Medicine." It's good for what ails you!

You could specialize in the mind-body connection: Mens sana in corpore sano :p

Posted by: Cass at July 2, 2013 03:38 PM

Growth in health care cost is driven by demographics, technology and stupid third party payer market model.

General economic growth has been kneecapped by generally rising taxes, astonishingly stupid energy policy (higher costs for all), increased regulatory costs, and most of all by business uncertainty: and this runs the gamut from financial market shocks, broad administrative (executive branch agency) law encroachment (EPA, NLRB . . . ), international market shocks (EU southern tier, Japan, China . . . ), PLUS POTUS publicly flogging those industries most likely to generate job growth (drilling & pipelines principle examples)

Best Regards,

Posted by: CAPT Mike at July 3, 2013 12:56 AM

Several months ago I was at a party and got into a discussion with several folks from the World Bank. They were discussing Africa and Asia and the booming economies thereunto appertaining.

On the way home, I listened to NPR bleating on about how the majority of Africa's population are under the age of 15. Don't know how many of you recall that demographics post I did a long time ago with the animated gif showing the age distribution of emerging vs. established vs. "mature" economies. Emerging was Africa - lots of men, higher mortality rates for women, few old people.

Mature was us - women beginning to outnumber men, old people outnumber the young.

We spend all this time blaming government, and certainly government deserves some of the blame. But we're ignoring titanic forces that (IMNSHO) are actually driving the clue bus. We attribute govt. policy to malice or stupidity.

We don't want to even entertain the idea that (as George touched on in a comment on another post) government growth is organic - that it's not a major driver, but rather a lagging indicator that responds to underlying forces, but also accelerates them....

...as in, the unlucky, unwise, careless, unhealthy, weak, old don't die the way they would in an emerging economy. With birth control, far fewer women die in childbirth and many actually have the ability to choose the course of their own lives.

I've pointed out before that "getting back to the old prosperity" is a chimera because the old prosperity - prosperity unequaled in our lifetimes or in American history - was fueled by artificially cheap credit, relatively mild redistribution, and household deficit spending to go with all the government deficit spending.

Weaning ourselves off that economic crack cocaine isn't going to be a pretty or short process. What I don't see conservatives facing is the very real possibility that "getting back to where we were" means a lower standard of living for most, and a return to the demographics of a 'less mature' society - old people die younger, the weak are allowed to die, the poor are allowed to founder.

For whatever it may be worth, I'm not saying that's not the answer we're all looking for, but few societies go there voluntarily as a matter of intentional policy. Usually we get there because some act of God or war knocks us back there.

So the question in mind is really not so much, "What policies will get us back there?" because I truly don't believe anyone's willing to face the costs honestly, but rather, "How long until reality knocks us down a few pegs?".

Posted by: Cass at July 3, 2013 09:43 AM