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Dan Diamond, Managing Editor
Health care hiring is off to a strong start in 2012, if not the historic pace that the Bureau of Labor Statistics had previously suggested.
The health care sector added 26,000 jobs in March, according to today's monthly employment report. That's in line with the sector's monthly average since 2010.
The BLS estimates that the overall U.S. economy added 120,000 jobs last month—which means health care accounted for 22% of new jobs in March. Altogether, the health sector has added more than 102,000 new jobs to the economy so far in 2012.
Going inside the report
The latest BLS estimates map to recent trends: About half of new health care jobs are on the outpatient side.
- Ambulatory health care employers added 12,100 jobs, with about 7,600 jobs in physician offices.
- Hospitals added 8,100 jobs.
- Home health care providers added 3,900 jobs.
The BLS also revised earlier figures from last month's report. The agency now reports that health care only added 75,600 jobs, down from its previous estimate of 92,300 jobs, across January and February 2012.
According to the revised estimates, health care had a very good first quarter, if not a historic one. The sector fell about 6,000 jobs short of the first quarter record (108,100 jobs added in Q1 1991).
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