"We see it happening, but until you actually put numbers on it, it's hard to really quantify how big a deal health care is in
Not only that, but those jobs are expected to grow at a faster rate than the entire regional economy in the next 10 years.
Even as low-wage gigs in tourism and services boom and higher-paying jobs in manufacturing and professional services lag, health care is one sector that the Twin Ports economy can count on.
"Even in times of recession, health care is almost always hiring and thriving," said
-- Combining wages and benefits,
-- Essentia spent
-- Overall, the Essentia system is
The reach goes beyond just health-care jobs.
"Economists use models to say that for every job in health care, we're also supporting part of a job in retail and part of a job in some supplier somewhere," Korsmo said. "So there's a significant ... multiplier."
"We pay good wages," he said. "We use a lot of local supplies. Our folks go out and buy locally. They buy houses, they buy groceries, they put their kids in school, they buy cars. It's a huge impact. And if you look at the people we've brought in, if you think about how many people we've recruited in that are new to the community, there's a large number of them. Every new physician we bring in probably means about three new jobs."
It might seem an ideal situation for people involved in health care -- including those in supporting and induced jobs such as construction and education. But top officials at Essentia say the local economy is top-heavy with health care.
"I'll give an example," said Dr.
Essentia's leadership is concerned enough about the issue that they're exploring ways to be a "catalyst for the broader economic development of this region," Herman said.
By the numbers
All signs point to health care's continued dominance.
While a quarter of employees in the region work in health care or social services, the concentration is even higher in
Data from the
That happened as
"Some of it is due to the demographic makeup of the region -- an older population -- so a pretty high percentage of jobs are located in nursing and home-care facilities," said Macht with DEED. "And we've seen a lot of growth in community and assisted living."
History helps health care here as well; because
"There are other industries expected to grow, just not at the same pace or scale as health care/social assistance," Macht said.
Though changes to the Affordable Care Act could change how much governments, insurers and patients each pay for services, overall spending is likely to increase. As of 2015, health-care spending was expected to increase 5.8 percent per year through 2025, according to the federal
Even if spending growth is curtailed in part, there is little chance the industry will be contracting, said
"If you think about baby boomers now entering their
Even as health care in the region will be sustained by an aging population, maintaining or growing the Twin Ports' influence as a regional hub will help ensure growth.
"We draw from the whole Arrowhead, up to
The top hospital administrators in
"We go down to about
Essentia's Herman reports a similar range.
"We see people from the
With that kind of range, there certainly won't be a shortage of patients for either health system. The workforce to serve those patients, however, is another story.
"Health care is just like any other industry in that respect," said Macht at DEED. "They're dealing with a declining workforce and more retirements out of the labor force. That's particularly acute in
HEART OF THE ECONOMY
This is the first in a series of three stories examining the economic impact of the health-care industry in the Twin Ports.
-- Coming Monday in Business: A look at the forecast growth of health-care jobs in the region, and the challenges that will accompany it.
-- Coming Tuesday in Health: When it comes to health care and the local economy, how does the Twin Ports stack up against other medium-sized Midwestern cities?
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