Health Jobs Grew Twice As Fast As Non-Health Jobs in October

BLSThis morning’s jobs report maintained the trend of high growth in health services, with those jobs growing twice as fast as non-health jobs (0.21 percent versus 0.10 percent). With 31,000 jobs added, health services accounted for almost one fifth of 161,000 new jobs.

The disproportionately high share of job growth in health services is a deliberate outcome of Obamacare. While this trend persists, it will become increasingly hard to carry out reforms that will improve productivity in the delivery of care.

Ambulatory sites added jobs at the same rate as hospitals. However, outpatient care centers and offices of practitioners other than doctors and dentists grew twice as fast as other outpatient facilities. Nursing and most other residential care facilities were flat (Table I).


Year on year, the broad trend is similar, with health jobs increasing almost twice as fast as non-health jobs. However, jobs in labs have declined significantly, as have jobs in nursing facilities (Table II).


There was a significant revision adding 44,000 jobs to the previous September estimate. This comprised a downward revision of 11,000 health jobs and an upward revision of 55,000 non-health jobs (Table III).


Comments (5)

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  1. John Fembup says:

    Seems counterintuitive when you consider all the reductions to medical care spending brought about by ACA.

  2. Brian says:


    It does seem counterintuitive, but the increase may be in non-critical care and ambulatory areas where healthcare can be delivered at a lower cost. You can provide care for many people in a clinic for every one patient in the Intensive Care Unit.

    • John Fembup says:

      “You can provide care for many people in a clinic for every one patient in the Intensive Care Unit.”

      True. But unless the prevalence of specialty and intensive care decline, additional clinic care, no matter how efficient, simply adds to overall cost.

      Is it your theory that specialty and intensive care are declining under ACA?

      (btw, the link you supply above does not work)