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One of Every Nine Workers Has A Job Because of Hospitals

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, June 21, 2010

Hospitals are not just places for sick people. In many communities, they represent economic stability, a major source of community employment, and an important staple for many other businesses and jobs.

That's according to a new report from the American Hospital Association, which says that one in every nine jobs in the U.S. is due to the existence of hospitals.

The number of full-time hospital employees has grown rapidly, from 4.3 million people in 1993, to nearly 4.9 million in 2003 to almost 5.38 million in 2008, the report says.

The state with the most hospital workers as of 2008 was California, with 491,436—a number that far outpaced other large-population states, such as New York, which had 415,017; Texas, 329,892; Pennsylvania, 286,807; Florida, 274,500; Ohio, 271,163; Illinois, 238,705 and Michigan, 205,249. All other states have fewer than 173,000.

The report revealed these other statistics about the economic impact of hospitals as of 2008:

  • Hospitals were the second largest source of private sector jobs.
  • Hospitals spent about $320 billion on goods and services from other businesses.
  • Hospitals created $2 trillion of economic activity or "ripple" effect.

The report was prepared by Avalere Health as an analysis of AHA annual survey data for community hospitals in 2008.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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