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Southwest Region

southwest minnesota mapSouthwest Minnesota is a national leader in agricultural production, and renewable energy.

The region's thriving manufacturing sector includes food processing, machinery, printing, metal products, and computers and electronic products.

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Health Care Demand is Stabilizing in Southwest Minnesota

12/27/2021 9:00:00 AM

Luke Greiner

After surging along with the Coronavirus pandemic last year, demand for health care workers is still high in Southwest Minnesota, but has started to stabilize after peaking in the fourth quarter of 2020. Data from this summer show that were nearly 2,700 job vacancies for Healthcare Practitioners & Technical occupations and Healthcare Support occupations in the second quarter of 2021. That was a massive 245% increase compared to the second quarter of 2019, just prior to the pandemic. But it was about 1,000 fewer than the peak reached in the fourth quarter of 2020. After hovering between 650 and 900 vacancies each year from 2015 to 2019, hiring demand has spiked in the past two years as health care employers have struggled to find enough workers to fill the growing number of positions available in the region (see Figure 1).

Southwest Minnesota Health Care Job Vacancies

Nearly two-thirds (64.6%) of the health care job openings were part-time, which was up from 40% in the second quarter of 2019. Educational requirements varied greatly by occupation, with 79% of Healthcare Practitioner & Technical openings requiring postsecondary education, compared to just 25% of Healthcare Support openings. Because of the higher requirements, wage offers were much higher for Healthcare Practitioners & Technical, at $24.77, compared to $13.52 an hour for Healthcare Support occupations.

The region saw a bigger increase in demand for Healthcare Support jobs that can be started with a high school diploma or less and some on-the-job training, primarily Home Health & Personal Care Aides. The part-time schedule flexibility and rising wages are designed to attract new workers for the thousands of openings in the region. At a more detailed level, some Healthcare Support occupations that are in highest demand include:

Demand was also rising rapidly for Healthcare Practitioners & Technical positions, including:

Job seekers without health care experience or training who are interested in pursuing a health care career may be able to start in some of the entry-level healthcare support occupations in the region and then move their way up the career ladder. Many employers will even help pay for or provide the training to get into those jobs.

Health Care Month: January 2022

To learn more about Health Care Month in Minnesota, visit careerforcemn.com/HealthCare. This page includes resources for job seekers, students and educators and employers. For example, numerous hiring events and career fairs are happening throughout the month of January for those looking for work in the health care industry. Employers can also find additional resources for attracting, developing, and retaining talent online here.

For More Information

Contact Labor Market Analysts Luke Greiner at 320-308-5378 or Mark Schultz or reach out to your local CareerForce location.

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