Health care job growth doubled in February

Hospitals recovered from last month's job losses, hiring 8,900 new workers

Topics: Workforce

March 11, 2013

The health care industry added 32,000 jobs in February, accounting for 13.6% of the 236,000 nonfarm jobs created last month, according to preliminary data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

In comparison, revised BLS data show that the health industry added just 13,000 jobs in January, partly because the agency now estimates that hospitals lost about 3,100 jobs in January.

Latest report shows hiring across industry

Within the health sector, physician offices and outpatient health centers experienced the biggest gains in February, adding about 14,000 jobs for the month, according to BLS. Meanwhile, ambulatory health care services added 13,700 jobs in February, down from 26,700 in January. 

The agency also found:

  • Hospitals created 8,900 jobs in February;
  • Home health care added 6,100 jobs, up from 5,700 new jobs in January; and
  • Nursing homes added 9,000 new workers.

Overall, the national unemployment rate last month dropped to a four-year low of 7.7% (Selvam, Modern Healthcare, 3/8 [subscription required]; Baker, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 3/8).

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