Healthcare hiring boom continues unabated

The healthcare jobs market is apparently booming, with hiring at hospitals leading the way, according to new data from the Altarum Institute's Center for Sustainable Health Spending.

The healthcare sector added 40,500 jobs in August. Adjustments to July added another 12,500 hires to that month's figures.

Through the first eight months of 2015, the healthcare sector has added 314,000 jobs--nearly double the 166,000 jobs it added during the first eight months of 2014.

Hospitals have been a particularly powerful hiring engine, adding 15,900 new jobs in August. Taking the adjustments to the July figures into account, they added another 20,000 jobs during that month. Hospitals now represent 32 percent of all healthcare jobs.

But ambulatory surgical centers are also creating a lot of new hires, adding 21,100 jobs in August, although that has been slightly lower than the one-year average of 22,600. 

Physician offices were a distant third, adding 6,900 jobs, while home healthcare companies added 5,800 jobs. Nursing facilities added 3,500 jobs, while outpatient centers added 1,600.

Altogether, the healthcare sector employs 15.18 million Americans. It now represents nearly 10.7 percent of the U.S. economy's jobs, a record high. The sector also provides a large bulk of the economy's best-paying jobs, as well as a significant number of mid-level jobs with opportunities for advancement, providing a ray of hope to the nation's beleagured middle class. Many of the positions are in non-clinical frontline positions.

However, Altarum noted in its report that there is still room for more growth, referring to lower overall participation rate in the labor force compared to prior to the Great Recession that started nearly eight years ago.

To learn more:
- read the Altarum jobs report (.pdf)