After slight 4th quarter decline, healthcare sales job market takes a positive turn.

The healthcare industry continues to be a bright spot in the economy. The January Employment Situation report issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 45,000 healthcare jobs were added in December, and the industry’s unemployment rate is down to 5.2% – more than 2.5 points below the national average. Despite the positive job trend for healthcare overall, both the medical device and pharmaceutical sectors are facing circumstances – namely increased taxes and fees mandated by the Affordable Care Act – that may in fact slow down job growth. Is this predicted slowdown already impacting healthcare sales jobs? The MedReps.com January Jobs report evaluates the number of healthcare sales jobs on five niche sites to assess the current market and speculate how the medical device excise tax, user fees, and the “patent cliff” is impacting the healthcare sales job market.

Graph depicting healthcare sales job counts on 5 industry job sites

The current state of healthcare sales jobs

Job counts on nearly every site monitored went down somewhat in December. The dip may, in part, be seasonal, but the decline may also reflect the general uncertainty surrounding the fiscal cliff and the implementation of the device excise tax. For MedReps, however, the slight downturn has a third contributing factor. In an ongoing effort to preserve the quality of jobs on MedReps, in December, several jobs were removed that did not meet quality standards.

Even with this additional oversight, job count numbers on MedReps are climbing back up in January with what appears to be legitimate jobs. Historically, January brings an influx of job opportunities to the site, and 2013 appears to be following the trend, despite industry concerns about increasing taxes and fees.

The December dip was relatively consistent when looking at job counts by sector. However, biotech jobs appear to be having the strongest rebound in January. Medical device jobs showed the greatest decline in the 4th quarter, but since the beginning of the year, med device sales job counts have taken a positive turn. Pharma sales jobs have shown some fluctuation, but seem to be holding steady for the most part.

Graph Depicting Biotech Sales & Marketing Job Counts on 5 industry job sites

Graph depicting Medical Device Sales & Marketing Job Counts on 5 industry job sites

Graph depicting Pharmaceutical Sales & Marketing Job Counts on 5 industry job sites

Projections on the healthcare sales job market

As the implementation of the Affordable Care Act moves forward, the medical device and pharmaceutical sectors are making plans for how they will succeed in the new healthcare environment. While the industry is most certainly facing new challenges – primarily increased taxes and fees – most companies will still figure out a way to be profitable.

In a recent interview with MedReps, healthcare staffing expert, Shane Jackson, shared his thoughts on the future of the medical device and pharmaceutical industry: “In the short-term, there could be some instability, but this tax and other things happening in the industry are not going to impact America’s desire to consume medical devices and pharmaceutical products. So ultimately, I think medical companies are going to find a way to be profitable and continue to grow.”

Conclusion

While there is still talk of repealing the medical device excise tax and other components of healthcare reform, companies are moving forward with the reality of the new law. Fortunately, the current uptick in healthcare sales job counts suggests that cutting back on sales hiring is not part of most companies’ initial plans to deal with these new challenges.

Keep your eyes on MedReps.com to spot trends in the healthcare sales job market.