The nation's hospitals reported 8,600 payroll additions in August, the largest single month of job growth for the sector in 2010, which so far has seen erratic employment growth, preliminary data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show.
The hospital sector shed 1,400 jobs in July, added 5,700 jobs in June, and shed 1,400 jobs in May, after creating 7,800 jobs in the first four months of the year.
BLS data from July and August is considered preliminary and may be considerably revised in the coming months.
Hospitals have reported 27,400 payroll additions in the first eight months of 2010, compared with 6,700 payroll additions in the first eight months of 2009, according to BLS data and revised preliminary data.
Hospitals last reported sustained payroll reductions in 2000, when 2,200 jobs were lost between January and April, BLS data show.
Overall, the economy lost 54,000 jobs in August, as the nation's jobless rate rose slightly to 9.6%. The decline in payroll employment reflected the loss of 114,000 temporary jobs from the U.S. Census Bureau, while private sector payrolls increased by 67,000, BLS preliminary data show.
Job growth in the healthcare sector continues to be powered by ambulatory services, which accounted for 16,900 payroll additions in August, and 99,400 payroll additions in the first eight months of 2010. Nursing and residential care facilities reported 2,700 payroll additions, and physicians' offices reported 5,300 payroll additions, BLS preliminary data show.