Healthcare Job Growth Shows Movement

John Commins, November 5, 2010

Despite widespread and well-publicized layoffs, the nation's hospitals reported 5,100 payroll additions in October, and 31,600 payroll additions so far this year. The rate of hospital job creation far exceeds the 19,900 hospital jobs created in the first 10 months of 2009, but is still well off the pace of hospital job growth for most of the decade, data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows.

After erratic hospital job growth in the first seven months of the year, hospitals have seen three straight months of growing employment, and have added 13,300 jobs since August. Overall, hospitals employed more than 4.7 million people in October.

BLS data from September and October is preliminary and may be considerably revised in the coming months.

The job growth comes even as hospitals "mass layoffs," defined as of 50 or more employees, are close to the same record pace set in 2009. BLS data show that the nation's hospitals reported 10 mass layoffs in September—the latest figures available—and the pace of these job cuts in 2010 lags slightly behind the record 152 mass layoffs in 2009.

In the first nine months of 2010, there have been 112 mass layoffs at hospitals, averaging more than 12 mass layoffs each month. At this pace, hospitals would record 149 mass layoffs in 2010.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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