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Hospital Labor Costs Ratchet Up; Wage Growth Still Slow

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, January 28, 2011

Compensation costs for state and local government workers fell from 2.3% in 2009, to 1.8% in 2010, owing largely to salary and wage reductions. Benefits costs increased 2.9% for the year, ECI shows.

Despite the trend of slowing growth in total compensation, hospitals continue to be job creation machines. Hospitals created 50,100 jobs in 2010, nearly double the rate of job creation from 2009, and the entire healthcare sector - everything from allergists to X-ray technicians -- created 265,800 jobs in 2010, Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary data shows.

ECI data for the December report were collected from 63,000 occupational observations selected from 12,900 private sector businesses, and 11,500 occupations from 1,800 establishments in state and local governments. The full report may be viewed here.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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