Employment in the EU healthcare sector has grown almost 2% annually between 2008 and 2012, according to the EVM.
The positive result is explained by the combined effects of an ageing population, advances in technology, treatments and people expecting higher quality service and greater emphasis on preventative care, the European Commission said.
In 2012 almost one million people were hired to work in healthcare across the European Union.
The overall job market in Europe is still depressed however, with 6% fewer vacancies in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with the last quarter of 2011.
The professions with the highest growth in employees after personal care workers in health services were software applications developers and analysts, administrative and specialised secretaries, mining, manufacturing and construction supervisors and primary school and early childhood teachers.
"The European Vacancy Monitor allows jobseekers to identify which sectors offer the best prospects of finding a job. It also helps public authorities to invest in training people with the right skills to avoid shortages. The latest report confirms that healthcare is one of the sectors with the greatest potential for job creation in Europe and so where investment in training is urgent," said László Andor, the commissioner for employment, social affairs and inclusion.
Personal care in health services ranked first among the fastest growing occupations between the fourth quarter of 2011 and the fourth quarter of 2012.
The report adds that a number of member states soon will have to deal with an ageing workforce in the health sector. For example, in Bulgaria and the Baltic states, more than 40% of the healthcare workforce is aged between 50 and 64, which is significantly higher than the EU average.
The health sector belongs to the ‘top bottleneck occupations’ in Europe for which vacancies are difficult to fill according to the Commission’s European Vacancy and Recruitment Report 2012.
An analysis of key trends for nurses and midwives within the EU Skills Panorama shows that a combination of factors contribute to the mismatch: insufficient numbers of nurses trained, competition for nurses across the world, significant replacement demand with an increasing number of nurses and midwives approaching retirement age, high attrition rates, pay and working conditions as well as lack of willingness to undertake the hard physical work.