AHA: Hospitals support 1 in 9 jobs in U.S.

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Hospitals continue to be a significant economic engine across the country, according to a new report. (Getty/NicoElNino)

Hospitals continue to be a significant economic engine across the country, according to a new report.

The American Hospital Association’s annual review (PDF) of hospitals’ economic impact found that hospitals supported 1 in 9 U.S. jobs in 2015 in some way. Hospitals employed 5.7 million people that year, according to the report, and through “ripple effects” supported 10.3 million more. The healthcare industry as a whole added about 35,000 jobs per month in 2016.

Each dollar spent by a hospital led to about $2.30 in economic activity, the report said. Hospitals overall supported more than $2.8 trillion in economic activity during 2015. They also spent close to $852 billion on goods and services from other businesses.

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“Hospitals provide vital high-quality healthcare services to millions of people each year and support a healthy, productive workforce,” noted an accompanying AHA Stat blog post. “But what’s not well enough known is how all that quality healthcare acts as an engine driving trillions of dollars of economic activity in communities across the nation.”

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In other job-related news, the healthcare industry added about 18,300 jobs last month, according to figures released by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. The additions led to the employment of more than 15 million in the healthcare system—an increase of more than 374,000 compared to the previous year. For January, hospitals specifically added 4,000 jobs, and ambulatory care services added 11,000 new jobs. This job creation is in the face of a likely repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which experts have estimated could cost 2.9 million jobs in 2019 and 3 million jobs in 2021.