Hospitals Only Accounted for 15 Percent of Health Job Growth in 2014

Last Friday’s employment report demonstrated once again that Obamacare is not having the effect that the health services industry overall hoped for: Employment in health care is increasing at pretty much the same pace as in the rest of the economy. There is no evidence of an Obamacare jobs bump.

As shown in Table 1 and Table 2, the monthly increase in health jobs for December was 0.23 percent (34 thousand jobs), which is slightly greater than the 0.17 percent increase in non-health, nonfarm payroll. However, those figures are just reversed from November. In the twelve months since December 2013, the rate of growth in health jobs has been exactly the same as non-health jobs.


table2However, this camouflages a significant shift in the workforce: Out of hospitals and into ambulatory settings. Over the last twelve months, hiring in ambulatory settings comprised three quarters of new health jobs. Hiring was distributed across the three ambulatory settings described in the report: Physicians’ offices, outpatient care centers, and home health. Hospitals accounted for only 15 percent of the growth in health jobs; and nursing and residential care only 11 percent.

Hopefully, this shift in the workforce signifies increased use of technologies, such as telemedicine and mobile health, which we at NCPA have championed.

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