HEALTHCARE AND SOCIAL ASSISTANCE
Input: Sector Description
The HCSA sector (North American Industry Classification System [NAICS] 62) comprises establishments providing healthcare and social assistance for individuals. The sector includes healthcare subsectors (ambulatory healthcare services, NAICS 621; hospitals, NAICS 622; and nursing and residential care facilities, NAICS 623). Social assistance (NAICS 624) includes individual and family services, community food and housing and emergency services, vocational rehabilitation services, and child day care services. The industries in this sector are arranged on a continuum starting with those establishments providing medical care exclusively, continuing with those providing health care and social assistance, and finally finishing with those providing only social assistance. The services provided by establishments in this sector are delivered by trained professionals. All industries in the sector share this commonality of process, namely, labor inputs of health practitioners or social workers with the requisite expertise. Many of the industries in the sector are defined based on the educational degree held by the practitioners included in the industry.
The HCSA sector represents over 13% of all employment in the U.S. In 2009, the HCSA sector employed over 18.3 million workers, with most (83%) working in healthcare. (Table 1) Growth of this sector from 2008-2018 is projected to be more than 22%, adding 3.2 million new jobs. Occupations in this sector are projected to account for half of the 20 fastest growing occupations during this 10-year period.
Over 80% of the establishments in the HCSA sector are in health care, which vary greatly in terms of size, staffing patterns and organizational structure. These include offices of physicians, dentists and other health practitioners, home health care services, outpatient care centers, and other ambulatory health care services, hospitals, and nursing and residential care facilities. Seventy-seven percent of the health care establishments are offices of physicians, dentists or other health practitioners. Forty-eight percent of non-hospital healthcare establishments employ 5 or fewer workers, and more 85% employ fewer than 20 workers. Hospitals account for only 1% of the health care establishments, but they employ 35% of all health care workers.
Half of all establishments in social assistance, except child day care, employ fewer than 5 workers. Some of the fastest growing jobs in the Nation, such as home health aides, personal and home care aides, and human service assistants are concentrated in social assistance. More than 80% of child day care services establishments employ fewer than 20 workers, accounting for half of this industry’s jobs.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes detailed information on occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities for all industry sectors. The "Industry at a Glance" profile from the BLS provides detailed information on employment, wages, productivity, and occupational outlook for the HCSA sector.
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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