Pharmacist Job Decline Predicted Amid Pharmacist Shortage

Staffing for pharmacies nationwide is already currently seeing a shortage of qualified pharmacists and technicians available, but the newest statistics point to an even darker scenario over the next decade for the US pharmacist job market. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) most current statistics that were just released, while the expected occupational average growth rate for all occupations over the next decade is predicted to be estimated at just above 4%, pharmacist employment is actually expected to decline during that period. Employment of pharmacists is projected to decline almost 2 percent during the decade of 2020 to 2030. Many find this so very disappointing after the aggressively forecasted growth rate that had been predicted of 4-6% that was expected to be seen between 2019 to 2021.

Pharmacy Staffing Shortage VS Pharmacist Unemployment Rate

Based on the National Pharmacist Workforce Study of 2014 and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, there’s always has been an expected 10% unemployment rate for new pharmacists starting in 2021, and that rate would grow by about 2% annually. Yet these numbers relate only to new pharmacists and the most recent statistics revealed by the NIH (National Library of Medicine) of that an estimated 4.4% of all pharmacists are currently unemployed, with higher rates occurring for female pharmacists, older pharmacists, and respondents of color, with the highest rate occurring (9.3%) for Black pharmacists.
Yet despite declining employment numbers, an estimated 11,300 new openings for pharmacists are projected each year, on average, over the coming decade. The majority of these “new” jobs for pharmacists that are being predicted are simply “replacement jobs” for the retiring members of the pharmacy profession, as well as replacing those pharmacists that have decided to change professions totally.
Yet there definitely is a nationwide pharmacy staffing shortage that currently exists. Consider the numbers supplied recently by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA)’s 2021 economic health report:
• 68% of independent pharmacies report having a difficult time filling staff positions
• 88% of independent pharmacies report that pharmacy technicians are the most difficult position to fill
• Staffing shortages have resulted in 1) reduced operating hours 2) increased incentive pay 3) turning away patients seeking immunizations 4) greater prescription dispensing waiting times

Why Are Pharmacy Jobs Declining?

One major reason is that the mail-order specialty pharmacies are booming, including such giants as Amazon Pharmacy and Mark Cuban’s CostPlus Drug Company. This trend will continue and greatly advance as more and more customers simply refill their prescriptions online and simply receive them through the mail (USPS).  The result will simply be less of a demand for pharmacists working in retail pharmacies and traditional community retail drug stores. Also, as the pharmacy chains start to reduce the number of their retail locations, the result will again be that there will simply be fewer jobs available.

Perhaps also worth noting as a major contributing factor in the rise of mail-order specialty pharmacies is the fact that every major insurance provider is connected directly to a major Pharmacy mail-order operation. The insurance coverage will offer the consumer incentives to utilize their own provider for refilling the patient’s prescriptions online and through the US mail.

How Can HCC Pharmacy Staffing help?

The bottom line is that no matter what such statistics as demand projections may reveal,  pharmacies are struggling  tremendously on a national basis to meet an incredible demand and suffering a severe shortage, which results in all sorts of downstream negative effects. Additionally, pharmacies are also dealing with an incredible increase of pharmacist burnout, while still having to meet pharmacist / tech staffing ratios, etc.

This is where HCC can help. We can help alleviate burnout, plus ramp up staffing when needed, and help pharmacies deliver and serve patients without reducing operating hours, and without increasing dispensing times, etc. Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing (HCC) is a Florida-based, full-service national pharmacy staffing and consulting company established in 1989 that’s been helping pharmacy owners and managers to relax when having to deal with staffing shortage issues such as we’re seeing in today’s healthcare work environment. For over three decades now, HCC’s clients have slept easier knowing that they are “partnered” with the finest pharmacy staffing agency available nationally.

The same holds true If you are a Pharmacist looking for work in a specific area (either temporary or permanent), and we encourage you to contact us today at 800-642-1652 to discuss how we can help you as an individual with a unique situation and needs. Having been in the Pharmacy Staffing business for over 3 decades now, HCC is known nationally for finding the right Pharmacist for the right position and visa versa.
Additionally, HCC is known as an industry leader in the field of Pharmacy Consulting. With a team of in-house experts, HCC can assist you with complex problems such as:

Development of Custom Policies and Procedures
– Technician Utilization Documentation
Pharmacy Management Consultation
Pharmacy licensing services covering all 50 states
Pharmacy audit & inspection preparation

Call us today at 800-642-162 or Contact us Online now for a Free Consultation to see how our team here at HCC can help you!


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