Hospital Job Growth Surge Continues in November

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , December 4, 2009

The healthcare sector is still outperforming the overall economy. BLS preliminary data show that the nation's payroll employment was essentially unchanged last month, with 11,000 jobs lost, as nonfarm unemployment fell to 10% in November from 10.2% in October, which had been the highest unemployment rate since April 1983.

Some of the reduction came with lowered readjustments of preliminary data, which showed that job losses in September and October had not been as severe as initially reported, BLS reported. Revised data show that in the three months before November, payroll job losses averaged 135,000 a month.

In November, 15.4 million people were unemployed. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, 7.9 million people have lost their jobs, and the unemployment rate has increased by 5.1 %, BLS preliminary data show. In that same period, the healthcare sector has created 613,000 jobs, with hospitals accounting for 181,600 new jobs during the recession. BLS data show that there were more than 13.7 million healthcare sector jobs in November.

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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