Despite ongoing layoffs, hospital employment is actually growing

Despite ongoing reports of hospitals engaging in mass layoffs around the nation in anticipation of the January 2014 implementation of the Affordable Care Act, federal statistics tell a story of a sector that is continuing to grow.

Hospital employment reached 4.83 million in October, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.That number is up 2,200 from September and 25,200 more than October 2012.

With seasonal labor adjustments taken out of the equation, the number of hospital jobs rose 8,000 between September and October, according to AHA News Now, although the year-over-year increase remains unchanged.

Employment at outpatient care centers was also up a seasonally adjusted total of 0.5 percent between September and October. Employment at physicians' offices was up 3.5 percent. Employment at nursing facilities remained unchanged.

The increase in healthcare sector jobs occurred as the nation's unemployment rate rose from 7.2 percent to 7.3 percent.

The numbers tend to contradict a recent report from the recruiting firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas that hospital hiring may have hit a recession.

Meanwhile, some hospitals continue to cut jobs. UMass Memorial Health Care in Massachusetts cut 16 jobs and reduced hours for 38 other employees at its Wing Hospital in Palmer, Mass. as the system reported a $57 million operating loss last month--its first in eight years, the News & Telegram reported.

Glens Falls Hospital in upstate New York also plans to cut an unspecific number of jobs related to the volume of its emergency room dropping, according to the Albany Business Journal. It cut 30 jobs last year. The not-for-profit hospital is offering severance packages to those who leave voluntarily, the first time the facility has done so in its century-long history.

In Ohio, hospital operator ProMedia, which owns 11 acute care facilities in the Toledo, Ohio area, is offering severance packages to 1,200 employees, the Toledo Blade reported.

To learn more:
- read the AHA News Now article
- check out the News & Telegram article
- here's the Toledo Blade article
- take a look at the Albany Business Journal article
- read the Bureau of Labor Statistics data