The healthcare sector added 23,800 jobs in the month of November, with hospitals leading the way in terms of creating new positions, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Last month, hospitals added 13,400 jobs, the only portion of the healthcare sector to post a five-figure increase in hiring. Nursing and residential care facilities added 6,200 jobs, the second biggest increase within the sector. Ambulatory healthcare providers added 4,200 jobs, while physician offices added 2,100 jobs. Home healthcare services actually saw a decline of 1,600 jobs.
Hospitals have been on a hiring boom over the past year, adding 166,600 jobs to their payrolls on a seasonally adjusted basis. Without the seasonal adjustment, the number of jobs created rises to 167,900 compared to a year ago. Altogether, hospitals employed 4.984 million workers in November.
The news from the BLS is a far cry from just a couple of years ago, when job creation for hospitals was all but stagnant. Hospitals added no new jobs at all in 2013, for example. And the entire healthcare sector struggled to add more than 200,000 jobs a year.
The entire healthcare sector has added a seasonally adjusted 470,000 jobs from November 2014 to November of this year, according to the BLS data. Without the seasonal adjustment, the number of jobs created rises to more than 570,000 in total.
Observers say the influx of new patients as the result of the Affordable Care Act taking hold and an improved overall economy contributed to the recent hiring trend. There has also been a rising demand to fill non-clinical healthcare jobs, such as patient representatives, community health workers, medical records technicians and other related positions. The relatively rapid hiring and good pay has provided a ray of hope regarding growing the nation's beleaguered middle class.
To learn more:
- read the BLS data