Healthcare Leads U.S. Job Growth in September

John Commins, October 10, 2011

The healthcare sector is creating jobs at a pace not seen in four years and is responsible for nearly one in four new jobs in the overall economy so far in 2011, new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show.

Through the first three quarters of 2011, healthcare created 258,000 jobs – nearly as many as the 263,400 healthcare jobs created in all of 2010. Healthcare is on a pace to create 344,000 new jobs by year’s end, a level of growth last seen in 2007, when the sector created 347,800 jobs, according to the BLS.

For September, healthcare continued to be one of the few bright spots in an otherwise stagnant job picture. Overall healthcare employment rose by 43,800 jobs in September, representing roughly 42% of the 103,000 payroll additions in the overall economy. So far this year, the 258,000 new healthcare jobs represent 24% of the slightly more than 1 million non-farm jobs created in 2011, BLS preliminary data show.

reports of a growing number of mass layoffs by hospitals, BLS preliminary data show hospital job growth is nearly four times higher than it was in 2010. Hospitals gained 13,300 new jobs in September, after recording 7,700 new jobs in August and 11,000 new jobs in July. Hospitals lost 1,900 jobs in June, but have created 66,800 new jobs so far in 2011. By comparison, in the first three quarters of 2010, hospitals created 19,800 new jobs.

Ambulatory services continue to set the pace for healthcare sector growth, creating 26,000 new jobs in September after posting 18,100 new jobs in August. Ambulatory services have been responsible for 66% (155,200) of new jobs in healthcare so far in 2011. In the first nine months of 2010, ambulatory services created 128,300 new jobs.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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