Hospital Job Growth Up versus Other Health Jobs

The July Employment Situation Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed health services jobs growing at about the same pace as other jobs: 0.18 percent growth versus 0.15 percent growth. This is a break from most previous months, when health services job growth outpaced other nonfarm civilian jobs significantly. 28,000 of the 215,000 jobs added in July were in health services.

However, July saw a significant uptick in the rate of jobs growth in hospitals: Adding 16,000 jobs, hospital employment counted for significantly more than half of health services jobs growth (see Table I). Jobs growth in nursing care facilities continued to stagnate.

Employment in nursing care facilities has been flat for twelve months (See Table II). Over the longer term, ambulatory care services have accounted for the lion’s share of new health services jobs. Last month’s growth in hospital jobs may simply be catching up. It would be unfortunate if the trend of health services jobs shifting out of hospitals was over, because hospitals are the highest-cost type of facility.

John R. Graham is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute.
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