Health Care Industry Keeps KC’s Economy…well….Healthy
by Jeff Pinkerton
I had the pleasure of presenting at the Greater Kansas City Health Care Economy Forum on Tuesday. Much of the forum focused on the important and growing role of community health workers (CHWs) to help people navigate the often complex world of health care. Our health care system is evolving to better serve a growing, aging and diversifying population, and CHWs are going to be an increasingly important link between patients and health care providers. You can read more about CHWs in this Health Care Workforce report.
My presentation focused on the size of the health care industry workforce and employment trends. Health care is the second largest industry in the region (based on employment) with almost 140,000 employees. If we included health insurance, medical equipment manufacturing and government health workers, it would actually be the biggest industry.
Health care is the only industry in the Kansas City region that maintained steady employment growth throughout the Great Recession, and it is certain to continue to grow in the years to come. We expect the region’s population to grow by 400,000 between 2010 and 2030. People over 65 will account for nearly half of that growth (48 percent).
A copy of my presentation, which includes more information on top skills and occupations currently in demand, is available here.