The U.S. healthcare sector added 22,400 jobs in March, an improvement from February and roughly in line with its average monthly gain over the past year.
The largest decline in the healthcare sector took place within residential mental health facilities, which shed 4,100 jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' newest jobs report released Friday. That's after those facilities made 700 new hires in February.
Ambulatory healthcare services continued to see steady growth in March. That sector saw the most new hires within healthcare: adding 16,200 jobs. Hospitals added 9,900 jobs, an improvement from 9,300 new jobs in February.
Within the ambulatory sector, dentists' offices added 4,400 jobs; physicians' offices added 3,700; outpatient care centers added 3,500; and home healthcare services added 2,500.
Overall jobs in nursing and residential care facilities shrank by 3,700. Nursing care facilities lost 2,900 jobs, while community care facilities for the elderly gained 2,100.
Healthcare job growth was roughly equal to the gains in manufacturing, but was still beat by the growth in professional and business services , which added 33,000 jobs last month.
March marked the sixth consecutive month in which the U.S. unemployment rate has held steady at 4.1%. Despite the 103,000 total nonfarm jobs added last month, 6.6 million people remain unemployed. March's total job gains followed a large gain in February of 326,000.
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