While the Great Recession took millions of jobs out of the U.S. economy, the healthcare sector has grown significantly in influence, reports Healthcare Finance News.
A new study by the Altarum Institute's Center for Studying Health Spending indicates that private sector healthcare employment reached 10.7 percent of the total employment in the United States in January 2011. That's up from 9.5 percent before the start of the recession in December 2007.
While non-healthcare jobs have declined 6.8 percent since late 2007, healthcare employment has increased 6.3 percent. The greatest job growth has been in outpatient care centers, at 5.3 percent in the past year. Hospitals saw the lowest growth of 0.7 percent.
"It's clear from these data that the health sector has helped stabilize the economy and buttressed overall employment following the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression," Dr. Charles Roehrig, director of Altarum's Center for Studying Health Spending, told Healthcare Finance News. "During the 19 months of post-recession recovery that officially began in June 2009, non-health employment has actually still declined, but health sector employment has grown every month."
However, Roehrig noted that healthcare hiring is expected to slow gradually in the coming years. That, combined with job growth in other sectors is expected to stabilize the share of jobs the healthcare sector represents.