Published July 5, 2012
Health care-related jobs in South Carolina will grow by 30% through 2020, nearly double the rate for all other industries, according to the Center for Education and Workforce at Georgetown University.
About 79,170 health care-related jobs will be created through the end of the decade, the report said. Jobs in all other industries are expected to climb by 18% through 2020.
The state’s universities and technical schools may have to ramp up classes to meet the growth, the report added.
“In health care, there are really two labor markets: professional and support,” said Anthony P. Carnevale, the center’s director and the report’s lead author.
Professional jobs demand post-secondary training and advanced degrees while support jobs demand high school and some college. There is minimal mobility between the two, and the pay gap is substantial, he said.
“The average professional worker makes 2.5 times as much as the average support worker,” Carnevale said.
The report, which is based on a survey by the Integrated Post Secondary Educational Data System, calculates that there will be 51,270 job openings for health care practitioners and technicians, and 27,900 positions created for support staff.
Physicians will account for 11% of the new jobs, while nurses will make up 30%. Allied fields like lab and X-ray technicians will make up 26% of the new positions. Support staff like janitors and cooks, will account for 34%, the report said.
There’s speculation more health care jobs could be created because one of the law’s provisions calls for the expansion of Medicaid to cover residents whose income is 133% of the federal poverty level. For a family of four, that amount is $30,650. The state presently offers Medicaid coverage for families at 50% of the federal poverty level.
Gov. Nikki Haley has said she is opposed to the law and wants it repealed.
If the state doesn’t expand its Medicaid rolls, it will spurn $10.6 billion in federal money that would be used to cover hospital and doctor bills between 2014 and 2019, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The foundation estimates that there would be 344,109 new enrollees in South Carolina if the Medicaid program is expanded, reducing the rolls of uninsured adults by 56.4%.