Healthcare Leads U.S. Job Growth in September

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , October 10, 2011

Within the ambulatory services subsector, physicians' offices have created 53,200 new jobs in the first nine months of 2011, which is more than double the 25,300 jobs created in that subsector for all of 2010. Physicians’ offices created 12,200 new jobs in September, after posting 5,600 new jobs in August. In comparison, physicians' offices created 17,500 new jobs in the first nine months of 2010.

BLS data from August and September are preliminary and may be revised considerably in the coming months.

More than 14.1 million people worked in the healthcare sector in September, with more than 4.7 million of those jobs at hospitals, more than 6.2 million jobs in ambulatory services, and more than 2.3 million jobs in physicians' offices, according to the BLS.

Beyond the healthcare sector, nonfarm job growth in the larger U.S. economy was up slightly in September, with 103,000 payroll additions reported. Much of the growth outside of the healthcare sector was credited to the end of a two-week strike in August affecting about 45,000 telecommunications workers at Verizon. Those workers were put back on the payroll in September.

If those returning Verizon workers are factored out of the September growth, then healthcare would be responsible for 75% of the 58,000 new jobs in the economy for the month.

Overall, the nation's unemployment rate remained essentially unchanged at 9.1% – its level since April – with 14 million people unemployed. The number of long-term unemployed, defined as people jobless for 27 weeks or longer, was 6.2 million in September, up from 6 million in August, and represented 44.6% of the unemployed.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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