Opportunity in health care industry

While the economic challenges facing our state and country remain daunting, we are pleased to see some positive economic news here at home.

This week, among other things, the Alaska Journal of Commerce reported that employment in the health care industry in Alaska is booming, and should continue to provide steady job growth for the forseeable future. In fact, the state labor department’s 10-year forecast, from 2008 through 2018, estimates that health care employment will grow 27 percent, compared to overall state job growth of 11 percent. That’s on top of 51 percent growth in the past decade. Currently, employment in the health care field accounts for about one in nine jobs around the state.

The factors behind the increase aren’t entirely clear, though the aging of Alaska’s population may be a big part of it — and we’re certainly graying here on the Kenai Peninsula.

But for all those entering the workforce, looking to rejoin the workforce or looking for a new career direction, the numbers indicate a huge opportunity. There is — and will continue to be — a strong demand for qualified people to work in health care. In a time where the job market is otherwise tight, that’s a wonderful piece of information to know.

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