Healthcare Created 314K Jobs in 2011

John Commins, January 9, 2012

Healthcare created 22,600 jobs in December, finishing a strong year for job growth that saw 314,700 payroll additions in 2011. Healthcare accounted for nearly one in five new jobs in the overall economy, Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows.

Hospitals created 9,800 new jobs in December, and 89,100 jobs in 2011, more than double the 37,300 jobs hospitals created in 2010.

"Last year, 2011, was a very good year for St. Luke's Health System. It's going to be more of the same in 2012," said Dawn Murphy, senior vice president – human resources, with the 10-hospital St. Luke's Health System in Kansas City, MO, which has 9,500 employees.

"We are adding staff, particularly nurses, because of our facilities' expanding. We have seen volume increases and that have stimulated our hiring," Murphy said. "We are also an attractive employer and that has always helped us. People want to work here. We received over 100,000 applications for employment last year and we filled 2,000 positions."

Chris Roederer, senior vice president, human resources, at Tampa General Hospital, says the safety-net hospital saw some incremental job growth in 2011.  External pressures, however, including a $20 million Medicaid funding cut from the state of Florida, have created a challenging fiscal environment that will impact hiring.

"It is going to be one of the more difficult years in our history, and we don't expect it to get easier. The pressure is going to continue," he said. "It's very unfortunate. We worked hard to get the reputation we have," Roederer said.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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