Healthcare employers added 9,900 fewer jobs in March compared with February, and the number held steady last month.
The industry, though, has been a reliable source of jobs during the economy's tepid recovery. The sector added 268,700 jobs since April 2012, an average of about 24,000 a month.
According to revised figures, jobs at physician offices decreased by 1,100 from February to March but then added 5,400 jobs in April. Hospitals added 2,700 jobs in April, which is significantly weaker than the 6,300 jobs hospitals created the previous month and the 12-month average of 4,800.
The White House released a statement Friday morning, once again calling for Congress to lift the automatic budget cuts effective in March, known as the sequester: “The administration continues to urge Congress to replace the sequester with balanced deficit reduction, while working to put in place measures to create middle-class jobs, such as by rebuilding our roads and bridges and promoting American manufacturing.”
The American Hospital Association estimated that the budget cuts, which include a 2% reduction in Medicare payments for services rendered on or after April 1, could lead to 766,000 fewer healthcare and related jobs by 2021.
Outpatient care centers added 900 jobs in April after adding 3,000 in March. Home healthcare also posted strong gains with 6,100 jobs in April, the same number it added in March. Home healthcare has added 129,000 jobs since April 2012, nearly an 11% increase for the 12-month period. That represents the largest job increase in the healthcare sector.
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