Graph of the Month - May 2008
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Percent of Wages Earned in Healthcare Jobs by Labor Market Area
The share of total wages attributable to health care and social services has been increasing in New Hampshire over the last decade. Moreover, approximately 42% of the job growth over the next 10 years is anticipated to be in health care and social service industries, which would obviously create an even higher concentration in an economy that already relies more heavily on healthcare for economic activity.
Some of the labor markets with the greatest reliance on healthcare and social service related employment and wages are in New Hampshire’s North Country. The chart shows the concentration of healthcare and social service industry wages as a percent of all wages paid in each labor market area of New Hampshire in the year 2006. Healthcare and social services account for 27 percent of all private and government wages paid in the Lebanon, NH-VT labor market area, probably due to the dominance of Dartmouth- Hitchcock Medical Center in that area. But the healthcare industry accounts for more than 17 percent of the salaries paid in the Colebrook, Wolfeboro, Littleton and Berlin labor market areas, well above the state average 12 percent.
It is clear that an aging society will demand more and more health care, and the rural areas of New Hampshire are likely to be among the areas with the highest proportions of elderly. It is reasonable to expect that health care is NH’s primary job-growth industry, particularly in the North Country.