The healthcare sector posted moderate job growth in November, as strong hiring by hospitals was offset by job losses in outpatient-care centers. Meanwhile, the overall U.S. unemployment rate dropped slightly to 10% as the month saw the smallest number of total job losses since the start of the recession two years ago.
Healthcare posts moderate job gains
Preliminary seasonally adjusted figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show the healthcare industry gained 21,000 jobs in November for a 0.2% monthly growth rate, which has been the average during the two-year recession. Healthcare has added 283,200 jobs in the 12 months ended in November, a 2% expansion during that time.
Hospitals added 6,800 jobs in November, continuing a third straight month of strong hiring after a weak start to the year. Hospitals have grown their personnel rosters by 1% since last November, adding 53,000 jobs to a workforce of 4.7 million. Physician-office staffing grew by 3,800 workers, or 0.2% in November, and has increased by 2% in the 12 months ended last month, adding 53,500 jobs to a workforce of 2.3 million in the last year.
Outpatient-care centers shed 3,300 jobs in November, which was at least the second month this year that the sector has posted losses of that size. Such clinics have grown by about 1% in the past year, adding 7,100 jobs to a workforce of 544,000.
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