Healthcare Employment Surges in June: Are Forces Beyond the ACA at Work?
Employment in the healthcare industry surged upward in June, with the growth rate increasing by 70% from the preceding month, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The June 2017 employment rise recalls the heated healthcare jobs growth that began in late 2014 and continued through 2016. Healthcare employment growth seemed to cool off in the beginning of 2017, as the future of healthcare policy was initially being debated in Washington, D.C. Though little resolution has occurred in the healthcare policy debate, the robust rate of jobs growth may be resuming.
Overall, healthcare employment has been growing since the end of the recession. Many believed the growth was due to rising demand from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, continuing growth in jobs raises questions about that assumption. Long-term drivers of healthcare demand, most notably the aging population and improving economy, may be of greater influence.
Healthcare added 37,000 jobs in June, with employment increasing in ambulatory health care by 26,000 and at hospitals by 12,000. Healthcare has added an average of 24,000 jobs per month in the first half of 2017, compared with a monthly average of 32,000 jobs in 2016.