Hospitals, which just a few years ago balked at the idea of adding new employees, have become a job-generating machine for the U.S. economy, according to the latest labor data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Hospitals added 15,700 new jobs last month when compared to June. Over the past year, hospitals have added a total of 122,800 new jobs. They now employ a total of 4.9 million people, out of 15.1 million in the healthcare sector as a whole.
When the data is not seasonally adjusted for fluctuations in the labor market, hospitals added 24,100 new jobs in July and 125,900 over the past year.
The current trend is a dramatic departure from the lingering effects of the Great Recession a few years ago. In 2013, for example, hospitals added no new jobs at all. That trend had contributed to the first time in a decade when overall hiring in the healthcare sector actually dropped.
Healthcare has become a critical component of middle-class job creation. Altogether, about 4.5 million jobs in the healthcare sector pay what are considered middle-class wages--although that represents only about a quarter of the sector. Home healthcare workers, for example, tend to be underpaid compared to workers in hospitals and other healthcare settings. However, even non-clinical workers are in high demand in healthcare, filling positions such as patient representatives, community health workers and medical office supervisors.
Along with hiring among hospitals, other portions of healthcare also added jobs. Altogether, the sectors added 27,900 new jobs in total during July. Ambulatory healthcare services added 8,900 jobs in July. Physician offices added 4,500 jobs. Home healthcare added 3,400 jobs. Nursing facilities added 3,300 jobs.
To learn more:
- read the BLS data