The unemployment rate of Shasta County has been relatively low in recent months. In February 2017, the county saw a rate of 7.1% unemployment, a significant drop since the 18.2% unemployment rate of 2010.
In particular, construction jobs have been on the rise since 2010. Over the course of five years, the industry has grown by hundreds of jobs. However, the number of jobs in construction is still significantly lower than it was during the years before the recession. In contrast, healthcare positions have since grown to become one of the largest generators of jobs in Shasta County.
According to Record Searchlight, the “healthcare and social assistance sector added about 460 jobs to hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities and social assistance services” since 2010.
Shasta County is a strong location for healthcare because of the number of hospitals and medical centers in the area. Residents neighboring the county often visit the medical centers located there. Blue Shield of California, Shasta Regional Medical Center, Mercy Medical Center, and Mayers Memorial Hospital are just some of the medical centers residents of California may visit.
However, these healthcare jobs may be in the balance as the American Health Care Act makes its way through the U.S. Senate. Until the Senate holds a vote on the controversial bill to repeal and place Obamacare, the future of the U.S. healthcare system is highly uncertain.
According to Donnell Ewert, the director of the Shasta County Health and Human Service Agency, “about 61,000 Shasta County residents are on Medi-Cal, and 6,000 receive insurance through Covered California.”
Furthermore, if the AHCA were to cut Medicaid, it may very well result in the loss of “900 jobs within the health care industry… and $147 million in business revenue.”
In short, the future of the U.S. healthcare system is up in the air. In California, not only will the AHCA affect health outcomes, but it will also affect one of the largest new job creators in the state — for better or worse.