NYC shows skills gap for healthcare, IT

October 31, 2014 in Medical Technology

New York City offers plenty of healthcare and technology jobs, but there’s a gap between the work and the skills available, according to a new report from financial services firm JPMorgan Chase.

On Thursday, the company released the first in a series of reports slated to address the mismatch between potential employers and job seekers.

The report is part of JPMorgan Chase’s five-year, $250 million New Skills at Work initiative, which aims to identify middle-skill healthcare and technology occupations that are in high demand.

“New York City, like so many cities, must start training workers for the right jobs,” said Chauncy Lennon, JPMorgan Chase’s head of workforce initiatives and a member of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Jobs for New Yorkers Task Force, in releasing the report. “This report provides a laser-focused, data-driven pathway for New York to correct the mismatch between job skills and employment needs, and it arms city officials, job trainers and employers with the right tools to close this gap.”

[See also: New York initiative aims to create hub for health IT jobs and New York ready for Round 2 startups.]

New York City’s healthcare and information technology sectors have high demand for middle-skill workers – defined as people with more than a high school degree but less than a bachelor’s degree, Lennon noted in a news conference Thursday.  Many of the middle-skill jobs highlighted in the report pay a good wage and offer career advancement, Lennon said.

[See also: AMIA looks to workforce of the future.]

The report further pointed out that in 2013, there were more than 423,000 healthcare workers in the city, and the number is expected to grow at a rate of 14 percent over the next five years.

Thirty-seven percent of healthcare occupations are middle-skill and, based on job postings, healthcare accounts for 31 percent of all middle-skill employment demand in New York City. There are more than 25,000 job postings across positions in five healthcare occupation groupings that require less than a bachelor’s degree. Middle-skill job postings in healthcare go unfilled for more than a month compared to a few weeks for postings for entry-level positions.

There are 35 middle-skill healthcare occupations with average earnings of $25 per hour in the New York City region, according to JPMorgan Chase findings.

The report found that middle-skill healthcare roles from registered nurses to medical and clinical laboratory technicians offer the highest median hourly wages of any occupational group. Occupational and physical therapy roles are in highest demand by employers and are projected to grow rapidly as the city’s population ages. Additionally, radiology technicians and MRI technicians have strong demand, high wages and high projected growth rates, according to the report.

[See also: HIT jobs: Where are they, and who’s paying the best salaries.]

Earlier this year, JPMorgan Chase provided a $1 million grant to Phipps Neighborhoods, Montefiore Health System and Hostos Community College to support their Career Network: Healthcare partnership in the South Bronx. The goal of the employer-driven program is to secure employment and/or
Information technology

New York City’s technology sector comprises nearly 66,000 jobs and is expected to grow by 15 percent over the next five years. Middle-skill jobs within the sector account for 16 percent of all of middle-skill job postings in the city, or a little more than 8,100 jobs.

There are 10 selected middle-skill technology occupations with median hourly salaries that range from $26 to $56. All of these positions are in high demand, ranging from 2,500 postings for information security analysts to more than 5,100 postings for computer user support specialists.

Job postings reveal that entry-level IT support roles, such as help desk or entry level computer support, account for more than half (57 percent) of middle-skill IT jobs in New York. Upward roles such as network support, help desk manager and advanced computer support require more technical IT skills. Advanced jobs such as database administrator and network administrator require a bachelor’s degree and substantial experience.

“Available tech jobs aren’t just for people with bachelor’s degrees,” Hagos Mehreteab, head of talent acquisition of AppNexus, said in a press statement. “The JPMorgan Chase report reaffirms that New York City’s technology sector also desperately needs people that have specialized skills training and the motivation and passion for learning new things.”

Report recommendations include:

  • Sector-based collaboratives should use this report and data to clarify specific occupation demand and map career pathways from entry-level to middle-skills jobs.
  • Healthcare and IT companies can expand their own talent pool by providing work-based learning opportunities (i.e. apprenticeships and internships) and on-the-job training for these specific middle-skill occupations for incumbent and potential workers.
  • The city should market middle-skill jobs as an opportunity for good jobs with career advancement, especially for disadvantaged populations and New York City boroughs in order to expand the sector’s talent pipeline and ensure access to high-demand occupations reaches all communities.
  • Career pathway programs provide an effective approach for preparing low-skilled job seekers for middle-skill jobs because they can be designed to integrate basic-skills training with the technical training needed for middle-skills credentials and careers.
  • Public and private workforce funders can use the report data and specific job opening to direct workforce development investments that prepares job seekers for good jobs instead of low-wage work.
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