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Funding Cuts Spur Healthcare Job Shifts

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, September 9, 2013

Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary data for August shows that the healthcare sector, which includes hospitals, nursing homes, ambulatory surgery centers, clinics, and physicians' offices, created 32,700 new jobs in August, which represents 20% of the 169,000 new jobs created in the entire economy for the month.

Ambulatory services accounted for 26,600 of those new jobs, and hospitals accounted for 900 new jobs. Hospitals shed 9,000 jobs in May, and 1,300 jobs in July, BLS data and preliminary data show. BLS data for August and July is considered preliminary and can be subject to considerable revision.

For the past five years the general consensus has been that the recession and sputtering recovery have played a role in reducing inpatient admissions.

"The pace of growth in hospital employment has significantly slowed down since 2008 following the beginning of the recession, even before 'Obamacare' was enacted," the Georgetown analysts say. "This is most likely due to impact of macroeconomic conditions and is indicative of the downward cyclical decline in employment. The pace of growth improved since the recovery started to take hold; though it is still much slower than before the recession."

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