Health Care Employment Rates Show Sharp Uptick

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Amid talk of another recession, health care employment rates are rebounding to a level comparable those seen in 2007 prior to the start of the economic downturn, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

According to the agency’s monthly employment report, the health care industry added 31,300 new jobs in July, placing it, along with manufacturing, retail trade, leisure and hospitality, and construction, on a list of job sectors that have recently shown some gains. Gains in the latter four job sectors numbered 24,000, 25,900, 17,000, and 8,000 new jobs, respectively.

The hospital sub-sector added 14,000 jobs during the month, compared to 2,000 job losses experienced during the previous month. Additionally, the ambulatory health care services sub-sector saw the addition of 14,100 jobs in July, with increases in physicians’ offices (6,300 more jobs) and home health care services (3,100 more jobs).

However, outpatient care centers saw a decrease of 500 jobs. National unemployment in all industries changed little in July, remaining static 9.1% or 13.9 million people, a BLS summary indicates.

The Obama Administration is not entirely satisfied with such news, despite the fact that it is more positive than expected. “The unemployment rate remains unacceptably high, and faster growth is needed to replace the jobs lost in the downturn,” states a Council of Economic Advisers blog post published Friday. The post deems bipartisan action essential to fostering growth in the private sector and the economy, citing such measures as extensions of the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance, as well as passing the pending free trade agreements with re-employment assistance for displaced workers, the patent reform bill, and a bipartisan infrastructure bill to help put Americans back to work, as options for attaining this goal.

“This week, we averted an economic catastrophe by avoiding a default and putting in place an important down payment on long term deficit reduction,” the post reads. “We will continue to work with Congress to build on these efforts to achieve a broader balanced deficit reduction agreement that instills confidence and allows us to live within our means without shortchanging future growth.”

Read the BLS employment summary.See the BLS data chart.