The healthcare sector created 12,000 new jobs in February, even as overall employment from all business sectors saw 36,000 jobs lost, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary data released this morning.
The national jobless rate remained steady at 9.7%.
Ambulatory services accounted for 6,700 payroll additions in February, and hospitals accounted for 1,300 new payroll additions. Nursing and residential care facilities reported 4,000 payroll additions in February, after reporting 4,900 reductions in January. Physicians' offices reported 900 payroll additions in February, after reporting 5,800 payroll additions in January.
The healthcare sector has been one of the few areas of job growth during the recession, and created 228,100 new jobs in 2009.
The BLS information from the last two months is considered preliminary and may be revised.