Hospitals Cut Jobs in August, But Overall Healthcare Job Growth is Up

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , September 4, 2009

Even with the slowing payroll additions, the healthcare sector is still outperforming the overall economy. BLS preliminary data show that the nation shed 216,000 jobs, and that nonfarm unemployment rose to 9.7%, in August, compared with 9.4% in July. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, 7.4 million people have lost their jobs, and the unemployment rate has increased by 4.8%.

Since December 2007, the healthcare sector has created 574,500 new jobs. BLS preliminary data show that there were more than 13.6 million healthcare sector jobs in August. Also in that time, hospitals created 166,400 new jobs.

The figures released today are preliminary and subject to significant revision. In June, for example, preliminary BLS preliminary data showed 3,700 new hospital jobs created nationwide. As the data was refined, however, BLS revised its figures and now reports that hospitals cut 200 jobs for the month.

Seasonally adjusted data, which are used in this story, allow for better month-to-month comparisons that better reflect changes in economy, rather than seasonal employment patterns. Payroll growth also reflects the number of new jobs, not the number of new employees, because one person can have more than one job.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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