Healthcare Job Growth Slows in April

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , May 7, 2012

The healthcare sector created 19,000 jobs in April—accounting for nearly one in six of the 115,000 new jobs in the larger economy for the month, new federal data shows.

April job figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that healthcare sector job growth is decelerating apace with slowing job growth across the larger economy. Like healthcare, the overall economy recorded strong job growth in January and February that sharply tailed off in March and April.

Elaina Genser, senior vice president of Witt/Kieffer, an Oak Brook, IL–based healthcare executive search firm, says the healthcare sector should continue to see strong job growth relative to the rest of the economy.

"It's a combination of factors and one of them is the fact that healthcare is something that is not easily outsourced. That alone makes it unique," Genser says. "The aging population and the desire to cut costs are creating all kinds of new jobs that focus on bringing care back to the future, back to people in their own homes."

Ambulatory services, which include physicians' offices, accounted for 15,400 new jobs in April, followed by hospitals, which created 4,100 jobs. Nursing homes and residential care facilities lost 500 jobs.

Genser says ambulatory services will continue to be the strongest area of healthcare job growth as providers move to consumer-friendly venues that allow for "one-stop shopping."

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