Health Jobs Grow More Than Three Times Faster Than Other Jobs

BLSHealth services jobs grew over three times faster than non-health, nonfarm civilian jobs in April. Health services jobs comprised 44,200 (28 percent) of 160,000 jobs added. The rate of growth from March was 0.29 percent for health services jobs versus only 0.09 percent for other jobs (Table I).

20160506 TI

Over half of health services jobs were added in hospitals. Within ambulatory settings, outpatient care centers and offices of other practitioners dominated the growth. Nursing and residential care facilities continued to show weak job growth.

Over the last twelve months, health services jobs grew almost twice as fast as other jobs, comprising just under one fifth of all job growth. (Table II). Care for the elderly is moving out of nursing homes and into community care. Nevertheless, the pace of job growth for ambulatory and hospital jobs has been the same over the last twelve months. It is not clear there has been a secular evolution in favor of ambulatory care.

20160506 TII

Also concerning is the revisions of the job figures from February and March (Table III). The estimates of overall employment growth in those months have been revised down significantly from the previous two reports. However, all the downward revision has been outside health services. Indeed, the originally reported health services job growth for February has been revised up, while the previously estimated growth in other jobs has been revised down by 22,000.

20160506 TIII

The disproportionately high growth in health services jobs indicates a lack of productivity growth in health services, which will prevent reductions in the rate of health spending growth.

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  1. Devon Herrick says:

    Health Jobs Grow More Than Three Times Faster Than Other Jobs

    Do you think that is in any way related to the fact that health care prices are rising at three times the rate of inflation?