Healthcare remained the economic engine for the United States: More than 10 percent of the jobs created in December were healthcare jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The number is more pronounced when you look at 2011 overall. Healthcare — meaning medical jobs in hospitals, ambulatory care facilities and nursing homes — made up nearly 20 percent of the 1.6 million jobs created last year (about 315,000 positions). That means healthcare grew more than any other industry in the United States
The three categories under the bureau’s healthcare jobs definition include not only administrative and physician positions, but also licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, orderlies and similar other support functions. So which segment was hiring the most in 2011?
- Ambulatory healthcare services created 187,000 jobs
- Hospitals created 89,000 jobs
- Nursing and residential care facilities created 38,600 jobs
In 2011, ambulatory healthcare service accounted for 43.8 percent of overall healthcare jobs; hospitals made up 33.7 percent and nursing and residential care accounted for 22.5 percent of jobs.Compare that to 2008, when ambulatory services made up 42.6 percent of healthcare jobs, hospitals made up 34.6 percent and nursing and residential care made up 22.8 percent.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,the sector is expected to generate 3.2 million new wage and salary jobs between 2008 and 2018, more than any other industry. A rapidly growing elderly population is the primary cause for such an increase.
Nurses, medical technicians and physician assistants have the hottest healthcare job outlook (though the jury is out over how the nursing job market will shift and change).
[Photo from of MC4 Army on Flickr]