Hospitals added more than 8,000 jobs during September, and nearly 82,000 during the past year, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Altogether, the healthcare sector added 43,500 jobs last month--more than a third of the 114,000 jobs the U.S. economy added in September. The nationwide unemployment rate ticked down below 8 percent for the first time in more than three years.
Hiring had been slow in July, with only 9,200 healthcare jobs added nationwide. That's since stepped up dramatically.
Job postings on Monster.com for registered nurses, physical therapists and physician assistants rose 13 percent between June 2011 and June 2012, USA Today reported.
San Diego hospital system Scripps Health is expected to hire at least 1,200 nurses during the next three years, but it may need to bring in as many as 1,800 due to retirements among current staff, the article reported.
However, other lower-paid healthcare positions requiring fewer years of education also are in demand, according to the BLS. The agency forecasts that the demand for home healthcare workers will grow 70 percent by 2020.