Friday, January 1, 2010

The non-clinical job market in 2010

The January 11, 2010 issue of BusinessWeek magazine has a section titled, "A Sobering Look at the U.S. Job Market." It doesn't look very good, considering that unemployment hit a 26-year high in 2009. Several states have unemployment rates that are above 11%. Most professional economists don't expect joblessness to return to its long-term average of 6% until well past 2011. The projected unemployment rate for 2010 is roughly 9.3%, with some projecting as high as 10.7%.

The irony is that health care professions top the list of jobs expected to grow the most by 2018. Most of that growth will be seen in the nursing profession.

Can you believe that even in this current economic situation, there are physicians who are choosing to leave clinical medicine to work in a non-clinical setting? Does that seem absurd? I don't think it's unreasonable, as long as people are informed about the reality of what they're about to face. They may need to find new jobs if they get displaced. Their position could get cut. Their company could fold. Physicians working in business are not immune to layoffs. In fact, I know quite a few senior and junior level physician executives who have had to find new jobs in 2009.

As we enter 2010, it's important to have a clear understanding of the economic situation. The jobs are still out there, but there are fewer jobs. Salaries may not be as high as before. You may be expected to carry a heavier workload because your position could be the result of two positions merged into one.

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