While some critics of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act say it is a potential job killer, employment officials in California say they expect the law to create a boom in health care-related jobs.
A recent study by the business-backed advocacy group the Bay Area Council found that while the Act will wipe out approximately 55,000 jobs in California, far more jobs will be created for professionals with health care experience on their resumes. In all, the council found, the law is expected to create 98,000 new positions as more than 4 million Californians become eligible for health care insurance.Doctors, nurses, medical assistants, all sorts of health care infrastructure, Micah Weinberg, a co-author of the study, told the Sacramento Bee. Joanne Spetz, a health care economist at the University of California, San Francisco, told the news outlet that there will also be an increased demand for physical therapists, home health aides and other caregivers. She said workers will likely see more health care job openings for people with experience or training on their resumes beginning in 2014, when the major provisions of the law are set to go into effect.Cathy Martin, workforce director at the California Hospital Association, said the demand for health care workers will continue in the state regardless of the new federal law due to an aging population and an increase of retirements expected in the field over the next few years.We know we’re going to be short on doctors, sure, and nurses long term, Martin noted.According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the health care sector has generated 360,000 jobs over the past 12 months. The BLS reports that total employment in the field is expected to increase by 14.3 percent, which is 20.5 million jobs, by the end of the decade.