Health IT Job Trends Pointing Upward

The U.S. economy and the health IT economy keep chugging along, according to a variety of recent surveys and indicators, all of which is good news for job seekers looking for permanent and contract healthcare technology positions.

The newly-released February Employment Trends Index (ETI) from the Conference Board is up from January, providing evidence that job growth is accelerating.  According to Gad Levanon, Chief Economist, North America, at The Conference Board, "It seems that higher business confidence is carrying over to hiring. As a result, in 2017 labor supply constraints will be strongly felt across many industries and locations."

Similarly, a new ManpowerGroup survey finds US employers reporting their second highest Q2 hiring outlook since 2009.

The 2017 HIMSS Leadership and Workforce Survey points to job growth in health IT, which is a “bright spot in the U.S. economy,” according to Lorren Pettit, vice president, health information systems and research for HIMSS.

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“Health IT workers continue to see strong demand for their skills, as employers across the provider and vendor/consultant spectrum embrace various health IT strategic initiatives,” says Pettit.

The HIMSS survey reflects the responses of 368 U.S. health IT leaders between late November 2016 and early January 2017. Among the key findings:

  • Demand for health IT talent leaves employers struggling. The majority of health IT employers (61 percent of vendors/consultants and 43 percent of providers) have positions they are looking to fill. The findings suggest the demand for health IT workers is strong, as evidenced by the fact that only 32 percent of vendors / consultant organizations, and 38 percent of provider organizations, claim they are fully staffed.
  • The majority of health IT employers grew or at least maintained the size of their IT workforce over the past year. 61 percent of vendors/consultants and 42 percent of providers reported IT staffing increases, and the majority of respondents across both groups expect to further increase or hold steady over the next year.
  • IT budgets continue to rise. Although projections are not uniform between the two groups, the majority of providers (56 percent) and vendors/consultants (87 percent) project increases in their IT budgets this year.

These positive hiring trends bode well for health IT contractors and consultants, according to another recent hiring survey.  A poll of health IT hiring managers by Tek Systems found:

  • Half of those surveyed, 50%, plan to increase contingent health IT hiring in 2017— up from 44% who planned to do so in 2016.
  • Respondents who expect their organization’s healthcare IT budget to increase in 2017 surged to a three-year high of 63% from 41% who said the same entering 2016.
  • 67% plan to increase hiring for full-time IT staff in 2017, up from 48% in 2016.
  • 43% of respondents expect their overall IT staff’s salaries to increase this year, down from 79% in 2016.