Health jobs grew more than two thirds faster than non-health jobs in March. Health jobs comprised 37,000 (17 percent) of nonfarm civilian jobs added (215,000). The rate of growth from February was 0.24 percent for health jobs versus only 0.14 percent for non-health jobs (Table I).
Three quarters of the health jobs growth was in ambulatory settings (27,000), which was dominated by home health services (10,000), while hospitals added only 10,000 jobs.
Over the last twelve months, it looks like the workforce for elderly people is moving out of nursing homes and into home health and elderly community care (Table II). Health jobs growth accounted for almost one fifth of all jobs added. Jobs in ambulatory settings have continued to grow faster than hospital jobs, so that there are about two million more jobs in ambulatory settings versus hospitals.
There is kind of a “pushmi-pullyu” element to the significant increase in health services jobs under Obamacare. On the one hand, it is unlikely we will bend the curve of health spending as long as we keep adding relatively unproductive health services jobs. On the other hand, it is good to see those jobs moving out of hospitals and nursing homes, and into less expensive ambulatory settings.