Title

The State of the US Governmental Public Health Workforce, 2014–2017

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-1-2019

Publication Title

American Journal of Public Health

DOI

10.2105/AJPH.2019.305011

ISSN

1541-0048

Abstract

Public health workforce development efforts during the past 50 years have evolved from a focus on enumerating workers to comprehensive strategies that address workforce size and composition, training, recruitment and retention, effectiveness, and expected competencies in public health practice.

We provide new perspectives on the public health workforce, using data from the Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey, the largest nationally representative survey of the governmental public health workforce in the United States.

Five major thematic areas are explored: workforce diversity in a changing demographic environment; challenges of an aging workforce, including impending retirements and the need for succession planning; workers’ salaries and challenges of recruiting new staff; the growth of undergraduate public health education and what this means for the future public health workforce; and workers’ awareness and perceptions of national trends in the field. We discussed implications for policy and practice.

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