Healthcare Hiring Strong Despite Looming Sequester Cuts

John Commins, March 11, 2013

The healthcare sector created 32,000 jobs in February despite the specter of 2% Medicare cuts mandated by sequestration, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

Within the healthcare sector there was a gain of 14,000 jobs in ambulatory healthcare services, which include physicians' offices and outpatient care centers. Hospitals and nursing and residential care facilities each created 9,000 jobs for the month.

The buildup to the sequestration over the last several months has raised concerns about widespread layoffs and other challenges to providers struggling to meet thinner margins.

Nicole Smith, a senior economist at the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, says that "healthcare seems to beat all odds" when it comes to job creation.
"During the most painful recession since the Great Depression, this sector also continued to add jobs at a steady pace," Smith said in an email exchange.

"The growth in healthcare jobs in this most recent job report is not surprising though, even in light of sequestration cuts. For one, the March report reflects February statistics and the impact of sequestration will be felt throughout the year."

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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