U.S. hospitals each year support $2 trillion in economic activity and about 15 million jobs—and a new report from the American Hospital Association (AHA) breaks down those economic contributions by state.
The report is based on AHA survey data from 2011.
Overall effect of U.S. hospitals on the economy
According to AHA, hospitals nationwide in 2011 directly employed 5.5 million people and supported an additional 10 million jobs with the $702 billion they spent on goods and services. Overall, the 15 million jobs supported by hospitals made the sector the second-largest source of private sector jobs in the nation, supporting one in nine jobs.
"Hospitals provide vital health care services to their communities, but the importance of hospitals to their communities extends far beyond health care," AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock says.
The AHA calls the health care sector an "economic mainstay" because it grew throughout the economic downturn. In 2012, it added on average of 28,000 jobs per month.
In addition, the report estimates that:
- Each dollar spent by a hospital supports a $2.30 in additional business activity; and
- Each hospital job supports an additional two jobs—meaning hospitals support one in nine U.S. jobs.
State-by-state look at hospitals' economic contribution
The AHA report offers a state-by-state look at community hospitals' effect on local economies and employment in 2011.
According to the report, the five states where hospitals had the largest effect on overall employment in 2011 were:
- Maine (where 13.02% of jobs were supported by hospitals);
- Massachusetts (where 12.55% of jobs were supported by hospitals);
- Ohio (where 12.20% of jobs were supported by hospitals);
- Michigan (where 11.57% of jobs were supported by hospitals); and
- Pennsylvania (where 11.07% of jobs were supported by hospitals).
Meanwhile, the report found that the five states where hospitals generated the largest amount of economic activity were:
- California (where hospitals generated $179 billion);
- New York (where hospitals generated $121 billion);
- Texas (where hospitals generated $106 billion);
- Pennsylvania (where hospitals generated $80 billion); and
- Florida (where hospitals generated $80 billion) (Viebeck, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 1/24; AHA report, January 2013).
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