In an effort to determine a more accurate picture of the physical therapy workforce and aid workforce planning, APTA's Workforce Task Force has developed a model to project supply and demand of physical therapists through 2020. Using the model to manipulate data collected through APTA member surveys, the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, and federal and other sources, the task force projected a either shortage or surplus of physical therapists in 3 different scenarios. The model includes multiple variables that may impact the future workforce, such as physical therapist attrition rates, the number of full- and part-time personnel, and the percentage of the US population with health care insurance. The model is easily updated to reflect changes in physical therapy education program graduation rates, employment patterns, health care reform, and other factors. APTA will continue to monitor the health care environment, make any necessary modifications to the model, and communicate changes to members and the public.
An explanation of the how the model was developed, a description of the possible scenarios, and graphs illustrating the projections are available on APTA's Physical Therapy Workforce Data page.