Hospital, overall healthcare employment up

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported some good news today that overall healthcare employment is up and the national unemployment across industries is down.

Healthcare employment in December saw gains, along with transportation and warehousing, retail trade, manufacturing and mining, according to a BLS press release. Unemployment for all industries went down to 8.5 percent (13.1 million unemployed) in December, compared to 8.6 percent in November.

Last month, the healthcare industry across settings added 22,600 jobs, including 9,800 of them at hospitals, according to BLS data. Ambulatory health services, such as physician offices, outpatient care centers and home health services, added a total of 11,300 jobs. The past month's upward trend mimics the progress made during 2011. Overall healthcare employment last year rose by about 315,000 jobs.

Another report from business research firm The Conference Board found that advertised vacancies for healthcare practitioners were on the decline last month with 7,600 fewer postings.

"Largely responsible for the drop were decreased advertised vacancies for Registered Nurses. The number of advertised vacancies in this occupational category continues to be quite favorable and outnumber job-seekers by 2.9 to 1," according to a Conference Board press release this week.

For more information:
- read the BLS press release
- here's the BLS data
- read the Conference Board press release

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