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‘HealthSights: Patient Support’ Examines Demand, Wages, and More Over the Third Quarter of 2021

MHC Insight's latest report, 'HealthSights: Patient Support', includes an analysis of Michigan's Patient Support workforce in the third quarter (July-September) of 2021. This workforce group includes Home Health and Personal Care Aides, Medical Assistants, Nursing Assistants, Orderlies, and Phlebotomists.

Data from the third quarter of 2021, including July, August, and September, showed the employer demand for Patient Support occupations in the State of Michigan remained relatively steady. There were 1,152 fewer postings (3.2 percent) during Q3 2021 than in Q2 2021, but 1,120 more postings (3.3 percent) than during Q3 2020. This suggests that demand for these occupations has risen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and has remained elevated. Indeed, in June 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a spike in the amount of demand for all patient support occupations, and this has remained high ever since. This increase in demand is compounded by the decline in completions since 2010 (see completions graphic), resulting in a talent shortage of patient support occupations across the State of Michigan.

Online job postings can represent the ceiling of demand for Patient Support jobs in the State of Michigan, but only if employers are actively advertising online. This results in certain jobs being overrepresented by job postings in relation to the actual number of positions available, while other jobs are underrepresented.

During 2020, there were 154,014 individuals working in Patient Support occupations in the State of Michigan. 87 percent of the workforce was female, while 13 percent were male. While most of those working in Michigan were white (59 percent), Patient Support occupations exhibit more diversity than other healthcare occupations, with African American or Black workers accounting for 30 percent of the workforce. The majority of the workforce (64 percent) was between the ages of 25 and 54, but nearly a fifth (16 percent) is between 55-64, and may be approaching retirement.

Generally, completions for Patient Support occupations have declined since 2010, and this may help explain the increase in employer demand

This information has been sourced by EMSI and analyzed by Michelle Wein, Director of Data & Research at Michigan Health Council, as part of the HealthSights series. The HealthSights series seeks to explore historical, current, and future trends in Michigan's health care workforce, while providing context to employers, educators, workforce development professionals, and policymakers that assist with health care talent development in the State of Michigan.

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