Health­care on pace for an­other huge year of job gains

Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS - —Bob Her­man

Hos­pi­tals, doc­tors’ of­fices and other health­care set­tings added 36,800 jobs in March, rep­re­sent­ing roughly 1 out of 6 jobs cre­ated across the en­tire U.S. econ­omy last month.

In the first three months of 2016, the health­care in­dus­try cre­ated nearly 118,000 jobs. That puts the in­dus­try on pace to break 2015’s mark of 438,800 added jobs, a num­ber that has al­ready wor­ried econ­o­mists be­cause of its im­plied higher health­care costs.

Em­ploy­ment at am­bu­la­tory and out­pa­tient cen­ters in­creased by 27,400 jobs last month, about 1,300 fewer jobs com­pared to Fe­bru­ary. Many of those am­bu­la­tory jobs (9,600) were cre­ated at home health agen­cies. Doc­tors’ of­fices in­creased their pay­rolls by 6,000 peo­ple in March.

Hospital hir­ing has slowed since the be­gin­ning of the year, but in­pa­tient fa­cil­i­ties still added 10,200 jobs last month. U.S. hos­pi­tals em­ploy more than 5 mil­lion peo­ple, in­clud­ing ex­ec­u­tives, doc­tors, nurses and coders.

In con­trast to hos­pi­tals and out­pa­tient of­fices, em­ploy­ment growth was nonex­is­tent among nurs­ing homes and res­i­den­tial-care fa­cil­i­ties. That sec­tor lost a net 800 jobs. The job cuts stemmed from the nurs­ing home in­dus­try, which slashed 3,200 po­si­tions in March. Over­all, U.S. pay­rolls in­creased by 215,000 work­ers last month.

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