Healthcare was again a bright spot as U.S. hiring picked up and the jobless rate fell to a four-year low of 7.7% in February, according to seasonally adjusted preliminary figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released Friday morning (PDF)
The 32,000 jobs added in healthcare services represented 13.6% of the 236,000 jobs added across nonfarm payrolls. February's healthcare job growth more than doubled from the 13,000 new healthcare jobs created in January, according to revised BLS numbers. Ambulatory healthcare services led the way with 13,700 jobs added in February. That's down more than 50%, however, from 26,700 ambulatory jobs created in January.
Hospitals saw 8,900 new jobs for February, rallying from the 3,100-job decline in January, based on the preliminary figures.
Home healthcare also saw a boost adding 6,100 jobs for the month, a modest increase from 5,700 in January. Those services continue to grow, up 7.1% compared with February 2012.
The overall new hiring surpassed the past three month's average of 195,000 jobs per month and was substantially higher than the 119,000 new jobs in January in terms of total nonfarm payroll employment, according to revised BLS figures.
Jobs in healthcare have been stalwart
in many cities throughout the recession and painfully slow recovery.