Hospitals created 50,100 jobs in 2010, nearly double the rate of job creation from 2009, and the entire healthcare sector - everything from allergists to X-ray technicians -- created 265,800 jobs for the year, Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary data shows.
Overall, the healthcare sector employed 13.9 million people at the end of 2010, including 4.7 million jobs at hospitals, 6 million jobs in outpatient ambulatory services, and 2.3 million jobs in physicians' offices, BLS preliminary data show.
For December, the healthcare sector recorded 35,700 payroll additions, including 8,000 hospital jobs. However, ambulatory healthcare services continues to be the major driver of healthcare job creation, with 20,600 payroll additions in December, and 160,200 payroll additions recorded in 2010, BLS preliminary data show.
BLS data from November and December is preliminary and may be considerably revised in the coming months.
After erratic hospital job growth in the first seven months of 2010, hospitals have seen five straight months of job growth, and have added 31,800 jobs since August.
Healthcare has been one of the few areas of steady job growth during the recession and slow recovery, averaging 22,150 new jobs each month in 2010, and creating 827,200 jobs since the recession began in December 2007. In 2009, healthcare created 215,300 payroll additions, including 25,700 hospital payroll additions, and 138,700 payroll additions in ambulatory healthcare services, BLS data show.
The larger economy gained 103,000 jobs in December and the nation's jobless rate fell from 9.8% to 9.4% for the month as the number of unemployed people decreased by 556,000 to 14.5 million. However, the number of long-term unemployed - people jobless for 27 weeks or longer - was little changed at 6.4 million and accounted for 44.3% of the unemployed, BLS preliminary data shows.