SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — For years, California’s need for nurses has been on the rise, with many hopeful employees heading off to nursing school to take advantage of those jobs.
But the sour economy has slowed job growth in the sector.
Joanne Spetz, an economist with the UC San Francisco School of Nursing said there is still some growth in the health sector, but not like what it was a few years ago.
KCBS’ Susan Kennedy Reports:
“Nationally, the growth has been 1.7 percent over the last year,” Spetz said. “In California, there still is growth in all the health occupations, but it’s closer to 1 percent.”
Spetz said it feels like a big slowdown because demand is down, with so many people out of work who have lost their health care. And those who are working as nurses are staying in their jobs longer because retirement benefits have plummeted.
Spetz said that graduating nurses may even have to relocate to find a job.
“I am hearing in some parts of the Central Valley, people are finding jobs much more easily than they are in the Bay Area,” she said.
But good news could be on the horizon as Spetz said the demand for nurses is expected to rise again in the next 2-5 years.
(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed)