Healthcare reported another month of strong job growth in May. Hospitals alone hired an additional 7,400 workers last month. The healthcare industry was among the nation's top generators of jobs last month, making 24,300 new hires in May, according to the most recent jobs report issued June 2 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Payroll creation in healthcare was solid last month even as overall job growth fell below expectations. The economy added 138,000 nonfarm jobs, disappointing analysts who predicted about 185,000 jobs would be created. The unemployment rate fell to a 16-year low at 4.3%, but that was likely due to fewer people actively looking for work.
The 24,300 new healthcare hires in May boosted total sector employment to 15.7 million. The new jobs were on pace with the 24,600 jobs created in April.
Ambulatory-care services once again led the charge in job growth in May, adding 12,600 jobs.
Even with these gains, jobs in the healthcare sector are growing at a slower pace compared to last year. The industry has added an average of 22,000 jobs per month so far this year, compared to an average monthly gain of 32,000 in 2016.
The industry is preparing for potential major changes to reimbursement for healthcare services. A report by the Commonwealth Fund found that repealing key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, particularly the insurance premium tax credits and Medicaid expansion, could lead to 2.9 million jobs lost in the sector by 2019.