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Healthcare Sector Gains 55K jobs in December

Analysis  |  By Melanie Blackman  
   January 10, 2023

Notable U.S. sector job gains occurred in healthcare, as well as leisure and hospitality, construction, and social assistance.

The healthcare sector saw more job growth while closing out 2022.

Last month, healthcare employment increased by 55,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The ambulatory healthcare sector saw an increase of 30,000 jobs, hospitals saw an increase of 16,000, and nursing and residential care facilities gained 9,000.

"The December jobs data show that hospitals and health systems continue to prioritize filling critical positions to care for their patients," the American Hospital Association's vice president of policy research, analytics, and strategy, Aaron Wesolowski, said in a statement released by the AHA. "However, they continue to face tremendous workforce and inflationary cost pressures, which resulted in unprecedented losses for many hospital and health systems in 2022."

The sector, overall,  experienced notable job growth during 2022, compared to the previous year. On average, the healthcare sector experienced 49,000 job increases per month, which the BLS reported as a considerable increase from the 9,000 monthly average job growth in 2021.

The healthcare sector's 2022 snapshot features a few slow months at the beginning of the year, but overall it had steady growth throughout the year.

A big focus for hospitals and health systems this year will be to continue to fill critically needed doctor, nurse, and staff positions, a feat which has plagued the healthcare sector even before the COVID-19 pandemic.

In December, total nonfarm employment increased by 223,000, the BLS report. Payroll employment increased by 4.5 million in 2022, with an average monthly gain of 375,000. This is lower than the 2021 payroll increase of 6.7 million, which was a monthly average gain of 562,000.

The unemployment rate decreased to 3.5% in December, for a total of 5.7 million unemployed persons. Between March and December, the unemployment rate stayed between 3.5% to 3.7%.

Melanie Blackman is the strategy editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.

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