Health care now #1 job field in the U.S.

January 25, 2018 07:24 PM

For the first time in the history of the United States, health care is the number one source for jobs. The field just passed manufacturing and retail.

The top two employers in the Rochester region are in health care. The University of Rochester employs more than 30,000 people. Rochester Regional Health has more than 15,000 employees. 

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The former number one, Kodak, now has just 2,000 workers.

The University of Rochester numbers represent half the size Kodak was in the mid-1980s.

Health care is responsible for millions of jobs in New York State, including a nurse who is following her grandmother's legacy. 

Sheniece Griffin has been a nurse for seven years. She is one of the 30,000 people who work for the University of Rochester.

"I feel like I'm part of something bigger," said Griffin, who is a registered nurse and clinical care manager. "Something that's going to keep growing."

Dr. Mark Taubman is the CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center. 

Berkeley Brean: What does it mean that health care, not manufacturing, is the number one source of jobs in this country and in Rochester? 
Dr. Mark Taubman, CEO URMC: "The fact that, to some degree, there is a decrease in manufacturing."

Taubman said people are living longer with more sophisticated medicine. 

"Therefore, we need a greater workforce to do that." he said.

A report by the Center for Governmental Research said the University of Rochester is responsible for up to 56,000 jobs and $3.2 billion in wages across New York State. It's a private institution that relies in some part on government funding like Medicaid and research grants. Over a five-year period, the University of Rochester got $1.4 billion in federal research money. 

"For every dollar we get to do research, seven dollars in spent in the community, some on taxes, the rest on services by the people doing research and their families," Taubman said.
Berkeley Brean: "In the last 12 years, the U of R has hired 10,000 new employees. Can you get bigger?"  
Dr. Mark Taubman, CEO URMC: "Well, I think the simple answer is we'll get as big as we need to serve the population."  


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