The Health Care and Social Assistance sector comprises establishments providing health care and social assistance for individuals, and private school education (public education is categorized under the government sector). The sector includes both health care and social assistance because it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the boundaries of these two activities. The industries in this sector are arranged on a continuum starting with those establishments providing medical care exclusively, continuing with those providing health care and social assistance, and finally finishing with those providing only social assistance.
The Healthcare, Social Assistance, and Education (private) sector has led job growth in Ventura County since 2011, and is projected to grow at a 20% rate over the next five years, adding another 6,000 jobs. Earnings per worker in this service sector tend to be above other types of service sector jobs with average earnings spanning $41,000-$94,000 for the majority of occupations from nursing assistants to ambulatory care and lab technicians. These higher paying service sector occupations providing middle and high wage jobs are quickly outpacing the value of traditional manufacturing jobs, creating an meaningful transformation in many local economies. That noted, much of the sector’s recent and projected growth in Ventura County is in lower wage occupations in support of long-term care for our aging population.
Q4 2019 displayed a continuing increase in healthcare employment, showing a total of 49,500. This is a month over month increase of 400 jobs from November to December, and an increase of 800 jobs in the sector compared to December 2018 employment data.
Due to the current pandemic, the trend chart and graph displayed below list employment data for Q1 2020, followed by the first two months of Q2. While the Healthcare sector has not been hit as hard as other sectors, there remains a loss reflected in the closure of private, optional surgical centers during the mandated business closures beginning in March of 2020.