Ambulatory healthcare services hiring continued to drive overall job growth in the healthcare sector in April, making up 70% of new hires last month.
Healthcare added 24,400 jobs in April, a slight improvement from the previous month's gains, bringing the sector's total new hires to 305,000 over the year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' newest jobs report released Friday.
The overall unemployment rate inched down to 3.9%, following six months at 4.1%. Total employment increased by 164,000 people.
Ambulatory healthcare added 17,000 jobs, up from 16,200 in March. Within that, physician's offices saw the highest increase, at 7,100. Medical and diagnostic laboratories, by contrast, lost 700 jobs.
Hospitals added 8,000 jobs last month, down from 9,900 jobs in March.
The nursing and residential-care facilities sector lost 500 jobs in April, far fewer than the 3,700 the sector lost in March. Nursing-care facilities continue to drive those losses, shedding 2,700 jobs. Residential mental health, by contrast, gained 1,500 jobs. That's in stark contrast to March, when residential mental health lost 4,100 jobs.
Within the social assistance sector, individual and family services gained 5,900 jobs, while vocational rehabilitation lost 1,300.