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Healthcare jobs on the rise

Robin Wulffson MD's picture
unemployment, healthcare jobs, Bureau of Labor Statistics

WASHINGTON, DC - On February 3, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its Employment Information Summary for January 2012. According to the report, 243,000 Americans gained employment while the unemployment rate dropped to 8.3%, marking a 0.2% drop.

Of those new jobs, 30,900 were in the healthcare sector; this followed a revised increase of 17,600 jobs last December. (The BLS previously reported a gain of 22,600 jobs that month.)

Within the healthcare sector, hospitals and ambulatory care services each added 13,000 jobs. The report does not give a breakdown of what types of employment increased. Hospitals employ nurses, technicians, and a variety of other healthcare professionals; many employ physicians. However, hospitals employ many individuals not directed in healthcare such as food services, laundry, and Internet technology.

Ambulatory healthcare services added 12,900 jobs; physicians’ offices, outpatient care centers and home-health services all experienced a growth increase. Nursing-care facilities added 2,700 jobs; in addition, the broader category of nursing and residential-care facilities overall experienced a growth increase of 5,300 jobs last month.

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The BLS noted that the unemployment rate has decreased by 0.8% since last August. In January, the number of unemployed individuals decreased to 12.8 million. Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men dropped to 7.7%; for African American men, the rate dropped to 13.6%. For women, the rates did not significantly change: adult women: 7.7%l African American: 135; teenagers: 23.2%; Caucasians: 7.4%; and Hispanics: 10.5%. The unemployment rate for Asians was 6.7%.

The number of individuals who lost their job as well as the number of individuals who completed temporary jobs also dropped; those rates decreased to 7.3 million. The number of long-term unemployed (unemployment for 27 weeks or more) did not change significantly change. That group comprised 5.5 million and accounted for 42.9% percent of the unemployed.

The number of individuals employed part time for economic reasons (8.2 million) did not significantly change in January. These people were working part-time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. In January, 2.8 million individuals were marginally attached to the labor; that number is unchanged from the figures for the previous January. These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for employment in the four weeks preceding the BLS survey.

The survey reported 1.1 million discouraged workers in January, also a similar number to that of the previous January. Discouraged workers are individuals not currently seeking employment because they believe no jobs are available. Another 1.7 million individuals marginally attached to the labor force in January had not searched for work in the four weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics