North Carolina AHEC Program
summer 2012 newsletter | home
Allied Health Vacancy Report Released
Allied health professionals make up the largest proportion (34%) of the health care workforce in North Carolina (NC) (Figure 1), yet there is limited information regarding the demand for their services throughout the state. The Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, in collaboration with the Council for Allied Health in North Carolina and the North Carolina AHEC Program, seeks to fill this gap by conducting bi-annual studies that track allied health job vacancies in the state. This report highlights the results of the latest study to inform the work of policymakers, educators, and practitioners to ensure an adequate supply and distribution of allied health professionals in North Carolina.
The allied health job vacancy tracking project estimates workforce demand for selected health professionals in North Carolina by monitoring job vacancy advertisements from both online and print sources. There are multiple factors that could indicate a shortage including rising salaries, long waiting times for appointments, increased time needed to fill a position, and high recruitment costs. The number of vacancies advertised is one indicator of whether a profession is facing increased demand. This report reflects tracking that was conducted in Fall 2011, and is a continuation of five previous reports.
Highlights of the report include:
Occupational therapy assistants had a vacancy rate of 11.6 vacancies per 100 employed professionals. Occupational therapy assistants had the highest vacancy rate of all professions tracked after falling to third highest in Spring 2011.
Physical therapist (PT) vacancies accounted for the largest share (17%) of total vacancies, and demand was found statewide.
Health information management (HIM) profession vacancies increased from 17 in Spring 2011 to 202 vacancies in Fall 2011. This large increase may be due to the difference in sources used to collect job ads between Spring and Fall 2011.
Greensboro (2.3) and Southern Regional (2.2) AHEC regions had the greatest job advertisements per 10,000 population. Area L AHEC, which in previous reports has shown the highest relative regional demand, fell to third highest with 1.9 vacancies per 10,000 population.
Nearly 80% of the job vacancies were found in hospitals (37%), long-term care facilities (21%) and practices (20%).
To access the electronic version of the report, please visit the North Carolina Health Professions Data System (HPDS) website at http://www.shepscenter.unc.edu/hp.