Healthcare hiring, pricing and spending are all falling, providing relief to and partially being driven by consumers, according to analysis released Thursday by think-tank Altarum Institute.
Though still the biggest contributor to national jobs growth, healthcare hiring is about two-thirds of what it was a year ago through the first five months of 2017, said Ani Turner, co-director of Altarum’s Center for Sustainable Health Spending. Healthcare job growth through the first five months of 2017 is averaging just under 22,000 jobs per month compared with 32,000 per month in each of 2015 and 2016. The 2017 slowdown is occurring in both hospitals and ambulatory care, Turner noted. Hiring also is being clouded by congressional efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the uncertainty that loss of coverage for millions of Americans creates for future volumes, she said. Even still, employment for people providing healthcare hit its highest share ever as a percentage of overall U.S. nonfarm jobs at 10.75% in May.