Healthcare hiring continues to rebound from a slump that slowed, but never halted, job growth. The sector added 24,500 jobs last month and nearly 257,000 jobs during the prior 12 months.
New hiring in healthcare dipped last year and remained weak this year, but has gained momentum in recent months, federal employment data show. The latest data of October, released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, suggest that the hiring rebound continued. The October data are preliminary and won't be final until January. As of October, healthcare employed 14.8 million workers.
Economists with the Altarum Institute highlighted the accelerated hiring last month, and questioned whether employment gains were strongest in states with broader expansion of health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. “Two months ago, we were seeing no acceleration in healthcare employment,” wrote Charles Roehrig, director of the Altarum Center for Sustainable Health Spending. “However, with the upward revision to July and strong August and September growth, the picture has transformed into a significant jump in the second quarter that has continued though the third quarter.”
Ambulatory care added 18,500 jobs last month and 202,300 jobs during the prior 12 months, with gains in physician-office and home-health hiring but no growth in outpatient center employment. That brought total ambulatory-care employment to 6.7 million workers.
Physician offices added 3,600 new workers last month and payrolls have increased by 58,400 jobs in the prior 12 months to total 2.5 million workers.
Home health employment grew by 7,400 jobs in October and 48,700 new hires during the previous year. As of October, the home health industry employed 1.3 million workers.
Outpatient-care centers reported no employment growth last month, though they added 32,300 jobs in the year that ended in October. The subsector employed 725,300 workers as of last month.
Hospital employment, which has been erratic since the recession, added 3,500 jobs last month and expanded payrolls by 25,200 jobs during the prior year, the strongest 12-month performance since April 2013. Hospitals employed 4.8 million as of last month.
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