August job growth remains sluggish in healthcare sector
Healthcare job growth continued to drag in August as hospital hiring remained sluggish and physician offices added a mere 700 jobs. Healthcare added 16,700 jobs last month, a gain of 0.1%, to bring the industry’s total employment to 14.4 million jobs, according to seasonally adjusted estimates released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. All figures are preliminary. On average, healthcare hiring has increased 0.2% each of the past 12 months. Healthcare accounted for 17% of the U.S. economy’s job growth last month. The economy overall added 96,000 jobs, an increase of 0.1%. The unemployment rate dipped to 8.1% from 8.3% the prior month. Hospitals added 5,700 jobs to their payrolls last month, or an increase of 0.1%, to bring the sector’s total employment to 4.8 million. The monthly growth rate for hospital hiring during the past year was 0.2%. Hospital hiring in the prior year increased 1.8%, or 87,400 jobs. Physician office hiring was largely flat in August; the 700 jobs added in the sector brought physician office payrolls to 2.4 million. That’s compared with the monthly average employment gains of 0.2% during the past year. For the 12 months that ended in August, physician offices added 63,500 jobs, an increase of 2.7%.