As now is customary, the healthcare industry was the leading job-producer in November, driving overall private-sector employment to a solid 178,000 gain.
The month saw healthcare employment rise 28,000. Ambulatory health care services produced the lion's share of the increase with 22,000 hires, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic's November jobs report.
Over the past 12 months, healthcare has led all sectors in adding 407,000 jobs, the report shows.
But November brought with it a cloudy forecast for the industry.
The election of Donald Trump, and his promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, has created enough uncertainty that hospitals and other healthcare providers may be hesitant to do more hiring until they get a better sense of what's ahead, Goldman Sachs Research's political economist Alec Phillips said in a report last week.
The ACA's coverage expansion led to a huge staffing demand in healthcare organizations across the country. Now, hospitals and providers worry that patient volumes and reimbursement could shrink if the ACA exchanges are dismantled and Medicaid expansion is rolled back.
The solid November jobs report also is likely to encourage the Federal Reserve to raise benchmark interest rates a modest quarter of 1% in December as the agency's Chair Janet Yellen has hinted at in recent weeks.
The latest hiring has brought the unemployment rate down to 4.6% nationally, though much of last month's drop from 4.9% was due to people dropping out of the work force.
With inflation near a target of 2%, the interest rate hike is expected.
Nonetheless, analysts, including Fitch Ratings managing director Megan Neuburger, don't see a small increase substantially dampening borrowing in healthcare given that existing interest rates are at historic lows of between a quarter and one-half of 1%.
Through November, employment growth has averaged 180,000 per month, compared with an average monthly increase of 229,000 in 2015, the bureau said.