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Michigan Faces a Major Looming Shortage of Home Health Aides, Nurses, and Most Other Health Care Occupations

Michigan Healthcare Workforce Index assesses outlook of 36 health care jobs over the next decade; shortage of more than 170,000 home health aides projected


CONTACT: Scott Swanson

Moonsail North

(517) 582-0084


LANSING, Mich.—(May 16, 2024)—As Michigan's population continues to age, an updated report from Michigan Health Council (MHC) released today has found that the state will face a shortage of more than 170,000 home health and personal care aides within the next decade.

 

This year’s edition of the Michigan Healthcare Workforce Index — a comprehensive report launched in 2023 that assesses the outlook of 36 health care jobs in the state—found that nearly all health care occupations are projected to experience workforce shortages between now and 2033.

 

“This data points to a growing health care workforce crisis for Michigan—one that demands data-driven intervention from state leaders,” said MHC President and CEO Craig Donahue. “The Index helped confirm what we’ve known anecdotally for years. Now we need to identify and support solutions. Our hope is that decision-makers use this report to inform how to invest limited time and resources for maximum impact. We believe that the insights and analysis gleaned from the index will spark informed discussions about the best ways to build Michigan’s health care workforce capacity.”

 

The index sheds light on the occupations by calculating projections based on four variables:

  • Growth: The percentage each occupation is expected to grow over the next ten years

  • Wage: The occupation’s 2022 median wage and 2012 median wage were combined to determine by what percentage the occupation’s wage had increased (or decreased) over ten years

  • Turnover: The level of movement taking place in the occupation

  • Shortage: A comparison of how many openings an occupation is expected to have over the next ten years to the educational supply

 

The “healthiest” occupation over the next 10 years is projected to be optometrists, while nursing assistants are projected as the “least” healthy. Compared to last year’s index, mental health occupations requiring a Master of Social Work (MSW) dropped 12 spots due to a six percentage point decline in wage growth between 2012 and 2022.

 

The report also found that while registered nurses ranked in the middle and licensed practical nurses ranked near the top of the index, the state is facing a shortage of more than 4,000 nurses over the next decade. Only four occupations are projected to have a surplus between 2023 and 2033—diagnostic medical sonographers, dentists, radiation therapists, and child, family, and school social workers. However, even with a surplus, these occupations can be poorly distributed across Michigan, leading to challenges in access to care despite the surplus.

 

“The 2024 Michigan Healthcare Workforce Index is a vital, unbiased tool to help stakeholders and policymakers understand the current healthcare workforce landscape and build the healthcare workforce of the future,” said Michigan Health & Hospital Association Senior Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer Ruthanne Sudderth.

 

The index is part of MHC’s ongoing work to catalyze data on health care workforce gaps into actionable talent solutions accessible to organizations statewide. A plan to address prioritized gaps, as well as briefing documents helping stakeholders execute the plan, are slated for development later this year. This work is supported by a grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.

 

 

 

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About the Michigan Health Council

 

Michigan Health Council (MHC) is a solutions-oriented nonprofit organization on a mission to create products and provide services our partners rely on to build health care workforce capacity. Learn more at mhc.org. 

 

About the Michigan Health Endowment Fund

 

The Michigan Health Endowment Fund works to improve the health and wellness of Michigan residents and reduce the cost of healthcare, with a special focus on children and seniors. You can find more information about the Health Fund at mihealthfund.org.

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