The healthcare services sector added 23,000 jobs in January, which is in line with average monthly gains that the industry reported last year and about half what the sector added in December, according to preliminary seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (PDF)
. The sector added nearly 45,000 jobs
The overall unemployment rate edged up to 7.9% as the U.S. economy added 157,000 jobs across nonfarm payroll sectors in January, following average job gains of 181,000 per month in 2012, according to the BLS, which released its January employment data Friday.
Hospital employment slightly rose to 4.8 million, adding about 3,600 jobs during the month of January, compared with 9,200 in December. The hospital sector has added 73,000 jobs since January of last year.
Physician offices added about 9,000 jobs in January, compared to the 6,800 jobs the sector added in December. The remainder of the new healthcare jobs came in other ambulatory settings, such as outpatient-care centers and home healthcare services.
The BLS also reported that during 2012 healthcare jobs increased by 320,000.