In the 12 months that ended in November, healthcare employers added 261,200 jobs for growth of 1.8%. That growth was generated during the first year of insurance expansion under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The newly insured are expected to fuel accelerated healthcare spending after several years of historically slow growth, and hiring growth is one indicator of faster increases in spending.
However, early data for spending on healthcare services through the first nine months of the year shows continued sluggish growth. And an analysis last month by economists with the Altarum Institute found no correlation between healthcare hiring gains and Medicaid expansion in the states that elected to raise eligibility under the healthcare law.
Ambulatory care, which includes physicians' offices, laboratories, outpatient centers and other settings, added 24,300 jobs in November for total employment of 6.8 million last month. During the year that ended in November, ambulatory care providers added 208,200 jobs, an increase of 3.2%. The sector's already strong hiring has accelerated rapidly this year with average monthly job growth up 26%.
Hospital hiring continued its rebound from last year, when job growth was flat. Hospitals added 4,300 jobs last month, which is more than this year's monthly average. Hospital employment totaled 4.8 million last month. Through the year that ended in November, hospital payrolls increased by 0.6%, or 28,500 new jobs.
Hiring among nursing and residential care facilitates was largely unchanged, with 300 new jobs to bring total employment to 3.4 million. Growth for the year that ended in November was 0.8%, as nursing homes and residential-care employment gains increased payrolls by 24,500 jobs.
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