Hospitals added 7,300 jobs in July, continuing a trend of job growth in the healthcare industry

Filling out job application
Job growth continues in the healthcare industry, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Getty/AndreyPopov)

The industry overall added 39,000 jobs, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with ambulatory health services leading the way by adding 30,000 positions. Nursing and residential care facilities added an additional 2,100 jobs.

Over the past year, the healthcare industry has added 327,000 jobs, according to the bureau.

RELATED: The 5 best-paying jobs in healthcare

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The jobs report for July outpaces what was a high rate in June, during which the healthcare sector created 37,000 jobs. And the job growth thus far this summer occurred amid uncertainty as to the future of healthcare reform in Congress.

Job growth is down slightly from last year, when hospitals alone added 15,000 jobs in June. Overall, the unemployment rate nationwide in July was 4.3%, a slight decrease from June. More than 209,000 nonfarm jobs were created last month.

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

Hospitals are a major economic engine across the country, and every dollar spent by one generates $2.30 in economic activity, according to a report released earlier this year by the American Hospital Association. The AHA estimates that hospitals support 1 in 9 U.S. jobs and through “ripple effects” support more than 10 million additional jobs.

But though the healthcare job market is growing, not every position in the healthcare workforce pays handsomely. Physicians and executives may bring home hefty paychecks, though gender and racial gaps in doctor pay persist. Compensation remains the key to retaining quality physicians amid the doctor shortage.

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In states that implement Medicaid work requirements, hospital operating margins could drop between -.4 and -2.2 in states, the report estimates.

CMS has approved a waiver request from Maryland, allowing the state to test several wellness and access projects in its Medicaid program.