Healthcare added nearly 45,000 jobs in December, more than twice the number added the previous month, and accounted for more than a quarter of the increase in overall nonfarm employment, according to preliminary seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The sector was again a bright spot in a report that suggests continued, modest recovery in the U.S. labor market, which added 155,000 jobs for the month. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.8%.
Total healthcare employment as of December was 14.52 million, showing an increase of 337,700 jobs since December 2011. Hospitals accounted for about 12,000 of the jobs
added in December, compared with 9,400 in November.
Physician offices added 6,800 jobs in December, compared with 1,300 in the previous month, though still fewer than the 12,600 tallied in October. Ambulatory services added 23,000 jobs in December, up from 4,400 in November.