Healthcare continued its slow but steady employment growth in April as the wider economy sent mixed signals, with the total number of U.S. jobs rising by 290,000 while the percentage of Americans classified as unemployed also rose slightly to 9.9%.
Healthcare as an industry added 20,100 jobs in April for a growth rate of 0.2%, according to seasonally adjusted preliminary figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the past 12 months healthcare has added 244,300 jobs, which represents 1.8% annual growth. Last year at this time, the annual growth rate for healthcare employment was 2.4%
Healthcare's largest employment sector, hospitals, added 6,100 jobs in April, or 0.1% to a workforce of 4.7 million. Hospitals have seen an annual growth rate of 0.9% in the past 12 months compared with 2.3% a year ago.
Physicians' offices, meanwhile, were shown in the statistics as losing 300 jobs from a workforce of 2.3 million last month. Physician offices have added 45,500 jobs in the past 12 months, for an annual growth rate of 2%. That compares with 2.6% annual growth this time last year.
The healthcare sector with the fastest growth last month was home care, which added 6,500 jobs to a workforce of 1.1 million for monthly growth of 0.6% for two months running. Home healthcare has added 5% in the past 12 months compared with 5.8% a year ago.