Healthcare added about 14,500 jobs in January, while the wider economy posted a net decrease of about 20,000 jobs, according to seasonally adjusted figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Overall unemployment dipped to 9.7% last month, the first significant change in the national unemployment figure since the recessionary high of 10.1% last October.
Healthcare posts job gains in January
The healthcare sector has added 218,300 jobs in the past 12 months, or 1.6% to a workforce of 13.7 million. Hospitals, according to the revised and seasonally adjusted figures, grew by 0.1% to add 5,000 jobs in January to a workforce now estimated at 4.7 million. In the 12 months ended in January, the hospital workforce added 28,300 jobs or 0.6%. Physicians' offices in January grew by 0.2% to add 5,600 jobs to a workforce of 2.3 million. Physician practices grew by 2% in the past 12 months, adding 45,300 jobs.
Those figures, however, reflect 101,600 fewer healthcare industry jobs than in previous estimates as a result of recalculations based on annual benchmark updates involving unemployment insurance tax records and census figures. Estimated hospital employment was revised downward by 42,600 jobs because of the statistical updates, and physician-office employment was adjusted downward from previous estimates by 44,000.
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