Projected labor shortages for 6 healthcare roles in 2031

Projections show the U.S. will need more than a million more nurses by 2031, but more than 80 percent of positions will be left unfilled, according to a Sept. 29 report from McKinsey & Co. 

The consulting firm analyzed 2021 data from Lightcast and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, including 2021 jobs, their predicted 2031 demand, and degrees or certifications completed in 2021 for various healthcare careers. Education rates in 2021 fall short on training enough employees for six healthcare roles for the next decade. 

Here are forecasted labor shortages for 2031: 

Nursing care: 831,212 open positions

Specialty care: 62,604

Primary care: 13,420

Pharmacy: 38,675

Dentistry: 36,517

Emergency medical services: 11,701

The supply of workers for one sector in healthcare is expected to surpass the demand by 2031. In 2021, the U.S. employed 1.06 million behavioral health workers, and in 2031, the number of behavioral health jobs is projected to be 1.2 million. With about 130,000 people achieving a degree or certification for this specialty in 2021, McKinsey predicts there will be enough workers to fill these positions, plus another 13,000 qualified individuals.

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