Healthy Healthcare Job Growth Boosts Economy
October was a pretty good month for the U.S. economy. The nation logged its 73rd straight month of job growth, and unemployment ticked down slightly from 5% in September to 4.9% in October.
Healthcare continues to be a main driver of our nation’s economic success.
“Employment continued to trend up in healthcare, professional and business services, and financial activities,” the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in its release of employment data for October 2016. During October, healthcare employment rose by 30,500 jobs, which is very close to the job growth in September.
Hospitals gained 12,700 jobs in October, and ambulatory health facilities added 18,500 jobs. Altogether, healthcare has added 415,000 jobs during the past 12 months.
“Our reading is: still solid, but perhaps some underlying signs of moderation,” according to Ani Turner, co-director of the Altarum Institute’s Center for Sustainable Health Spending. Job growth appears to be stabilizing somewhat in healthcare.
Employment growth in healthcare isn’t quite as breathtaking as it was during the boom of 2015 and early 2016. During some of those months, revised statistics show that healthcare logged more than 40,000 jobs, including a couple of months with job gains around the 50,000 mark.
However, job growth in healthcare is expected to continue to be robust for the foreseeable future
Slight slowing of job growth would not have a negative impact on healthcare workforce solutions and staffing services. Growing shortages of healthcare professionals have created a widening gap between healthcare job openings and job hires; unfilled healthcare jobs are now a major problem for the overall healthcare industry. A slight slowing of job growth will not reverse the growing trend caused by high demand of healthcare services and shortages of healthcare professionals to provide those services. A backlog of unfilled jobs will persist.