Minnesota hopes to fill 45,000 open health care jobs to prevent crisis


Minneapolis — A better-than-expected jobs report shows the US Employers added 339,000 jobs in May.. Results in construction, leisure and hospitality and healthcare were the best growth since January.

But Minnesota’s workforce agencies are pushing to fill tens of thousands of open health care jobs in hopes of averting a care crisis.

“We can’t afford to be in a situation where nursing and residential care facilities are closing,” said Orian Casale, assistant director of Minnesota DEED’s Office of Labor Market Information.

But unless something changes quickly, that’s the reality of Minnesota’s health care system.

According to the Department of Employment and Economic Development, there are more than 45,000 open jobs in the state’s largest industry.

“For home health aides and personal care aides, this is the largest employer brand in Minnesota. It’s over 100,000 workers strong. It had some of the largest number of job openings,” he said.

Right now, there are more than 9,000 job openings for home health and personal care aides alone, and thousands more for nursing assistants, LPNS, and RNs.

Salary may be a factor, but even RNs, who make the most of the four groups, still have the second highest number of openings.

“Nursing and residential care facilities have been hit hard. Those jobs are very fulfilling but very challenging. Wages were very low coming into the pandemic,” Casale said.

The state has launched a campaign to get more people into careers in one of those roles — a field they say isn’t seeing layoffs any time soon.

“We have an aging population in Minnesota,” Casale said. “There are many elderly people and it will continue in the next two decades. And so this creates a situation where we need more care professionals.”

More than 25% of nursing jobs in Minnesota are filled by new Americans.

The state is targeting high school graduates as most entry-level roles require a diploma and training.


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