Hospitals, doctors’ offices and other healthcare settings added 36,800 jobs in March, representing roughly 1 out of 6 jobs created across the entire U.S. economy last month.
In the first three months of 2016, the healthcare industry created nearly 118,000 jobs. That puts the industry on pace to break 2015’s mark of 438,800 added jobs, a number that has already worried economists because of its implied higher healthcare costs.
Employment at ambulatory and outpatient centers increased by 27,400 jobs last month, about 1,300 fewer jobs compared to February. Many of those ambulatory jobs (9,600) were created at home health agencies. Doctors’ offices increased their payrolls by 6,000 people in March.
Hospital hiring has slowed since the beginning of the year, but inpatient facilities still added 10,200 jobs last month. U.S. hospitals employ more than 5 million people, including executives, doctors, nurses and coders.
In contrast to hospitals and outpatient offices, employment growth was nonexistent among nursing homes and residential-care facilities. That sector lost a net 800 jobs. The job cuts stemmed from the nursing home industry, which slashed 3,200 positions in March. Overall, U.S. payrolls increased by 215,000 workers last month.