Physicians' offices reported 2,200 payroll additions in May, down considerably when compared with the 6,900 new payroll additions reported in April, and 8,700 new jobs in March. Physicians' offices have created 22,500 new jobs in 2011, compared with 6,900 new jobs in the first five months of 2010.
BLS data from April and May are preliminary and may be considerably revised in the coming months.
The healthcare sector continues to be one of the few areas of job growth in the economy. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, healthcare employment has grown by 943,600 jobs, while total nonfarm employment has fallen by about 6.9 million, BLS data show.
Nonfarm job growth in the larger U.S. economy slowed considerably in May, with 54,000 additions reported, well below increases that averaged 220,000 new jobs for April, March, and February. The nation's unemployment rate remained essentially unchanged at 9.1%, with 13.9 million people unemployed. The number of long-term unemployed -- people jobless for 27 weeks or longer – was 6.2 million in May, an increase of 361,000 from April, as their ranks increased from 43.4% to 45.1% of the unemployed, BLS preliminary data show.