The latest jobs report was greeted as good news, with nonfarm payroll increasing by 242,000 jobs in February. Health services jobs accounted for 38,000 (16 percent) of the growth. Health services jobs accounted for a smaller share of job growth than in previous months. Nevertheless, they grew faster (0.25 percent) than other nonfarm jobs (0.16 percent) (Table I).
Jobs in ambulatory settings accounted for 24,000 (62 percent) of health services jobs. Physicians’ offices and home-health services accounted for the lion’s share of growth in jobs in ambulatory settings. This is likely good news because it corroborates the shift of the health services workforce from inefficient hospitals to more efficient locations of care.
Over the last 12 months, jobs in ambulatory settings also dominate, accounting for 331,000 (69 percent) of 481 health services jobs added (Table II). Further, health services jobs increased by 3.23 percent over the period, almost twice as much as non-health jobs. Health services jobs accounted for 18 percent of jobs growth, despite accounting for only 11 percent of nonfarm jobs.
This indicates growing political clout, which will make it even harder for politicians to get health spending under control.