Healthcare Drives US Job Growth in May

John Commins, June 4, 2012

The healthcare sector created 32,800 jobs in May—accounting for 47.5% of the 69,000 new jobs in the larger economy for the month, new federal data shows.

Healthcare continues to be one of the few steady bright spots in the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly job growth report. The reports have otherwise been erratic and lackluster since the economic downturn in 2008 and continuing through the ongoing tepid recovery.

Chris J. Conover, a scholar with the Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research at Duke University, says the good news about job growth for the healthcare sector is not necessarily good news for everyone else.

"We're all paying for it and it's an indication of where consumption is going," Conover says. "That's been true for a long time and in some senses that statistic is in opposition to this good news story about declining healthcare costs. It is an indicator that healthcare is taking a growing share of the economy."

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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