Jobs in health care, especially in outpatient settings, continue to rally. Of 217,000 nonfarm civilian jobs filled in May, 34,000 were in health care. This was twice the average monthly gain over the previous twelve months.
As previously observed, most of these jobs are in ambulatory settings. Two thirds of the gains (23,000) were in physicians’ offices, outpatient-care centers, and home-health care. Hospitals only added 7,000 jobs from April.
Table 1 shows the seasonally adjusted changes over the last twelve months. It continues to become apparent that the sector is undergoing a transformation: Care is being increasingly delivered outside hospitals. Although hospitals still account for one third of employment in health services, job growth there is anemic. Although outpatient-care centers employ only 715,000 workers, they continue to add jobs rapidly.
Hopefully, this indicates a shift to more productive ways of delivering care. However, the perverse incentives in ObamaCare (which cut hospital payments bluntly) caution against optimism.