Trends and characteristics of the state and local public health workforce, 2010-2013

In the present study, the authors assessed state and local public health workforce characteristics by occupational category from 2010 to 2013. In addition, they examined health department characteristics to determine whether workforce size and composition varied across these domains. Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (2010, 2012) and National Association of County and City Health Officials (2010, 2013) profile study data, including 47 state health departments and 2005 and 1953 local health departments (LHDs) in 2010 and 2013, were analysed respectively. The number of workers and percentage of change by occupation, population size, geographic region, and governance structure were determined. The LHD workforce remained stable between 2010 and 2013. In states, the workforce decreased by 4%, with notable decreases in public information (-33%) and public health informatics (-29%); state health departments in small (-9%), New England (-13%), and centralised (-7%) states reported the largest decrease in number of workers. The authors concluded that the findings provide evidence of a shifting public health workforce profile, primarily at the state level. Future research should seek to explain changing workforce patterns and determine whether they are planned or forced responses to changing budgets and service priorities.

Authors: Beck AJ, Boulton ML. ;Full Source: American Journal of Public Health. 2015 Apr;105 Suppl 2:S303-10. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302353. Epub 2015 Feb 17. ;