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Report: Health care is Wichita area’s second-largest employer

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, March 4, 2013, at 8:18 p.m.

An economic impact report shows that the health care sector is the second largest employer in the Wichita area after manufacturing.

According to the Medical Society of Sedgwick County, an estimated 43,691 people work in the health care field directly and 27,927 work in a related field, according to the report, which was commissioned by the medical society.

This is the third report the MSSC has commissioned from the Wichita State Center for Economic Development and Business Research. The study covers Butler, Harvey, Sedgwick and Sumner counties and uses data from 2010.

Researchers used information from the census bureau, federal Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis for the study, said Jeremy Hill, director of the center at WSU. A similar study was first conducted in 2008, and the MSSC plans to continue to commission it every two years as new data are available, said Jon Rosell, MSSC executive director.

Researchers found that in 2010, area health care and related payrolls totaled $2.7 billion and the Wichita health care industry generated $246 million in city, county and state tax revenues.

Rosell said the results of the study show that the Wichita-area health care sector is stable, and while the employment numbers have dipped slightly since the 2010 study that used 2008 data, the average wage has increased for health care workers, from $36,318 to $39,334.

The dip is likely an effect of the still-struggling economy, he said.

“I think the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in January 2014 is going to have an effect, and we’ll be curious to see what the next iteration of the study will be. It’s hard to speculate, but we know it’s going to be different,” Rosell said.

“It will be helpful for us to have a series of observations over six years to compare and contrast that in 2014 to make inferences about what is happening in local or regional health care market.”

Reach Kelsey Ryan at 316-269-6752 or kryan@wichitaeagle.com.

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