RNs under age 35 now exceed 1 million and outnumber RNs aged 50 and over for the first time since 1999

Full-time equivalent RN employment grew to 3.2 million in the third quarter of 2018, suggesting continued strong workforce growth rather than a possible flattening since around 2016.  The RN workforce has now added a net 700,000 FTE RNs and is now 30% larger than it was in the beginning of 2010.

total fte 3 2018

Source: Authors’ analysis of the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey

 

FTE RN employment grew in all sectors. In particular, the second quarter apparent downturn in non-hospital employment may have been due to data noise.

total fte by sector 3 2018

Source: Authors’ analysis of the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey

  

The strong 3rdquarter employment growth was driven entirely by RNs in the younger age groups, whereas the number of FTE RNs aged 50 and over did not grow and is roughly the same (1 million FTE) as it was in 2012. The number of FTE RNs under age 35, on the other hand, has grown by more than 33% since 2012 and has now surpassed this older group in size and exceeds 1 million FTE for the first time since 1999.

fte by age 3 2018

Source: Authors’ analysis of the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey

 

Average hourly earnings for RNs remained just under $29/hr.

fte wages 3 2018

Source: Authors’ analysis of the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey

 

Finally, the number of male FTE RNs in the workforce continued its sharp growth to nearly 450,000 FTE, which represents roughly a doubling since the first quarter of 2010 and a new high of 13.7% of the RN workforce.

fte male 3 2018

 

Authors: Auerbach, David, Buerhaus, Peter, and Staiger, Doug.

Date Posted: November 14, 2018