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Minnesota is seeing a record number of job openings

Health care burdened with the most vacancies
Health care worker shortage
Health care worker shortage(Gray TV)
Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 7:43 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), we are seeing a record number of job openings across the state, more than 200,000. The healthcare field has been burdened with over 40,000 of those unfilled positions. Thursday, a multi-agency panel met to discuss the urgent problem.

Those in the health care field say this problem started long before the pandemic.

“The longer term projections show that within the next decade we need 16.5 percent new healthcare workers in our state,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove.

This confirms that the need for health care workers is not going away.

“Of the 40,000 health care openings in the state, at least 23,000 to 25,000 of those are in long-term care,” said President & CEO of Care Providers of Minnesota Patti Cullen.

Other positions include those we see when we go to the doctor or hospital, nurses or direct care, but also jobs like dieticians, cooks and housekeeping.

“We’ve had like 37 percent leave our individual ICU as it is,” said President of the Minnesota Nurses Association Mary Turner.

One reason being very limited care capacity.

“They are burnt out,” said President & CEO of Minnesota Hospital. Dr. Rahul Koranne.

Also, in the case of many health care facilities across the state, and the nation, vaccine mandates are being instilled and enforced, just another reason for job vacancy.

There are state leaders with big ideas when it comes to solutions to this problem.

“Our answer is livable wages,” said Cullen.

Others say they want to start out smaller, like using the national guard to relieve long-term care staff members, to get through the worst of this pandemic first.

It seems one thing is for sure according to those in the field.

“There is no better profession than the caring professions because it is a job no matter how difficult it is, how discouraged you can get, you can always say that you have a job where you make a difference, and that’s huge,” said Turner.

Those on the multi-agency panel agreed, it is critical to pass the Frontline Worker Bonus Pay this month.

Although it may not be a huge bonus, those federal dollars could be used to show appreciation to critical workers.

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