Employment Concentrations by Metro: Providence

The mix of jobs in a metropolitan area has significant impacts on the local apartment market. For this reason, MPF Research has identified five U.S. metros that have outsized exposure to certain industries. The data for these rankings were obtained via the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of March 2015. In this blog series, we’ll take a deeper look at the five metro areas and highlight unique characteristics that drive the employment makeup of each metro. We’ll also a few other “runner up” metros that also have outsized exposure these five employment industries.

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Taking one of the five spots on our list of the top industries that have outsized exposure in certain metropolitan areas is Providence, Rhode Island. In Providence, 17.6% of its employees work in the Heath Care and Social Assistance industry as of March 2015. That percentage translates into 98,700 Health Care and Social Assistance workers.

There are four subsectors that make up that 17.5% within the Health Care and Social Assistance industry: Ambulatory Health Care Services, Hospitals, Nursing and Residential Care Facilities, and Social Assistance. Of those four industries, Ambulatory Health Care Services contains the largest chunk of employees (5.5%), followed by Hospitals (4.9%), Nursing and Residential Care Facilities (3.9%) and Social Assistance (3.2%).

It is pretty clear that Providence’s economy is dependent on health care/social assistance. This is considered one of the more stable but slower growth industries (when compared to leisure/hospitality or government).shutterstock_135593498

Let’s first define the four different subsectors that make up the Health Care and Social Assistance segment (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics):

  • Ambulatory Health Care Services: Provide health care services either directly or indirectly to ambulatory patients. Health practitioners in this sub-sector provide outpatient services. Examples include doctor, dentist, and other health practitioner offices, outpatient care centers, medical and diagnostic labs, and home health care services.
  • Hospitals: Provide medical, diagnostic, and treatment services which include physician, nursing, and other health services to inpatients. As a secondary activity, hospitals may provide outpatient services. Examples include general medical and surgical hospitals, psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals, and other specialty hospitals.
  • Nursing/Residential Care Facilities: Provide residential care that includes either nursing, supervisory, or other types of care as required by residents. Examples include nursing care facilities, mental health and substance abuse facilities, community care facilities for the elderly.
  • Social Assistance: Provide a plethora of social assistance services directly to a client. Examples include individual and family services, community food and housing, emergency and other relief services, vocational rehabilitation services, and child day care services.

Let’s talk about these subsectors a bit more in depth that make up Providence’s Health Care and Social Assistance industry.

Ambulatory Health Care Services: Rhode Island has several ambulatory health care service facilities that employ hundreds of people. The following employee count information is the most up-to-date available, provided by Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, as of February 2010. Among facilities with 300 or more employees are:

  • East Side Clinical Laboratory Inc.: 300 employees
  • Gateway Healthcare, Inc.: Over 700 employees
  • Lifetime Medical Support Services: 300 employees
  • Nursing Placement, Inc.: 300 employees
  • Perspectives Corp.: 800 employees
  • The Providence Center: 500 employees

Rhode Island Hospital Trust Company

Hospitals: In Rhode Island, hospitals are a major economic engine, according to the Hospital Association of Rhode Island’s annual economic impact report. In fact, hospitals support one in 10 jobs in Rhode Island. Based on 2013 figures and data from the report, Rhode Island Hospitals:

  • Generated 41,000 jobs
  • Generated $6.9 billion in economic contributions
  • Employed approximately 20,000 health care professionals, with their indirect impact to the economy creating an additional 21,400 jobs
  • Paid $1.8 billion in wages
  • Generated $2.8 billion through goods and services purchased
  • Dedicated $167 million to upgrading facilities and technology

More specifically, Providence is home to leading hospitals, health care institutions, and R&D centers. Providence has several hospitals that employ upward of 1,000 people. The following information is the most up-to-date available, provided by Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, as of February 2010.

  • Butler Hospital: 900 employees. Fun fact, this was the first hospital in Rhode Island and one of the first psychiatric facilities nationally. It’s the only private, not for profit psychiatric and substance abuse facilities in the state.
  • Emma Pendleton Bradley Hospital: 978 employees (based on 2013 statistics, according to the hospital’s website.)
  • Our Lady of Fatima Hospital: 1,557 employees
  • Rhode Island Hospital (pictured above): 7,129 employees (based on 2013 statistics, according to the hospital’s website.)
  • Roger Williams Medical Center: 1,470 employees
  • The Miriam Hospital: 2,698 employees (based on 2013 statistics, according to the hospital’s website.)
  • VA Medical Center: 950 employees
  • Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island: 2,880 employees

Nursing and Residential Care Facilities: Providence is home to ample nursing and residential care facilities. Some of these facilities are small and quaint, while others are larger and have a resort feel. Most of the nursing and residential care facilities listed were found to have roughly 100-150 employees. Regardless, there are a few stand-outs that employ 250 people or more, according to information from Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation.

  • Brookside Villa: 250 employees, nursing home
  • Cherry Hill Manor: 280 employees, short/long term care
  • Elmhurst Extended Care: 300 employees, short/long term care
  • Groden Center, Inc.: 400 employees, educational, treatment, vocational training, and residential facility
  • Saint Antoine Residence: 400 employees, skilled nursing facility

Social Assistance: Similarly, there are several social assistance providers in the Providence area. The facilities I focused on had 350 and more employees, according to information from Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation.

  • The ARC of Blackstone Valley: 350 employees, provide service to individuals with disabilities
  • Cranston Arc: 374 employees, provide services to individuals with development disabilities
  • Family Service of Rhode Island: 400 employees, provide counseling, psychiatric treatment, special education/psychiatric schooling, and services to individuals with disabilities
  • Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center: 500 employees, sub contract work as a vocational workshop
  • James L. Maher Center: 650 employees, service provider to individuals with disabilities
  • The Homestead Group: 650 employees, services provided to individuals with disabilities


Runners Up

There are a few more metros that should be mentioned that have high exposure to the Health Care and Social Assistance industry. There is at least a 1.0-point delta between the percentage of Health Care and Social Assistance industry workers in these metros compared to Providence. These metros include:

  1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Approximately 16.8% of the workforce here (or 468,800 individuals) are employed in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry. The majority of the industry workforce is within the Hospital subsector (5.0%, or 138,400 employees). In fact, four of the top 10 employers in Philadelphia are in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry. Ranking at #1 is Jefferson Health System (18,740 employees), #3 University of Pennsylvania Health System (14,941 employees), #6 Christiana Care Health System (10,500 employees), and #8 Main Line Health (10,075 employees) according to Select Greater Philadelphia’s website.
  2. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Approximately 16.6% of the workforce (or 190,500 individuals) are employed under the Health Care and Social Assistance umbrella. The largest chunk is within the Ambulatory Health Care Services subsector (5.9% or 68,000 employees). According to the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, UPMC Health System is the largest employer in the Pittsburgh Region with 42,900 employees. Moreover, for the 15th consecutive time, UPMC Health System was listed on the U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll of “Best Hospitals.” and topped the list of leading employers in the Pittsburgh region.
  3. Cleveland, Ohio: About 16.1% (or 165,800 people) of the workforce are employed in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry. Cleveland’s largest employer is the Cleveland Clinic, whose number of full-time employees grew 3.4% in the year-ending June 2014 to 34,658 workers. Meanwhile, its main competitor, University Hospitals, saw their employment base grow 23% during that same time to 17,856 workers (the second-largest employer in Cleveland.)
  4. Hartford, Connecticut: Tying with Cleveland, 16.1% of the workforce in Hartford (or 91,600 people) work in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry. Making up the majority of the Health Care and Social Assistance industry here is Ambulatory Health Care Services, which accounted for 5.6% (or 31,600 employees) at the end of March 2015.

(Image Source: Shutterstock & Wikimedia Commons )