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Healthcare's Next Trick: Economic Stabilizer

Chelsea Rice, for HealthLeaders Media, December 10, 2012

Healthcare, representing almost 14% of the nation's total job growth, continues to produce jobs, but at a slower rate than the last few months. The healthcare sector created 20,000 jobs in November versus 31,000 in October and 43,500 in September, also falling below its monthly average of 28,000 for 2012.

Hospitals created a much larger portion of total job growth this month over last, BLS reports. There were 8,300 more hospital jobs in November compared to 6,200 last month. That represents at least 41% of the job growth in healthcare, compared to 19.35% of the total healthcare jobs created last month. What's not broken down in the numbers is where those jobs were created.

In a dramatic drop, ambulatory care saw 20,300 fewer jobs created in November (4,700) than October (24,900). Physicians' offices represented the largest portion of this dip, which created 1,700 more jobs in November versus 11,200 in October.

Job growth at outpatient care centers also plummeted, showing only 100 jobs in November, compared with 1,700 last month. Home healthcare services created 300 jobs versus 7,900 in October.

These are not the early signs of a slowdown, says UNC's Smith.

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