Slow Growth, Downward Revision in Health Jobs

blsLast month’s job report showed an explosion in health jobs versus non-health jobs. Revisions to previous data in this morning’s very strong jobs report indicate those data were not correct.

Health jobs increased only 0.12 percent in this morning’s jobs report, versus 0.16 percent for non-health jobs. With 18,000 jobs added, health services accounted for only eight percent of new nonfarm civilian jobs.

This is a welcome development. The previous disproportionately high share of job growth in health services was a deliberate outcome of Obamacare. If this trend persists, it will become increasingly hard to carry out reforms that will improve productivity in the delivery of care.

Ambulatory sites added jobs at a much faster rate than hospitals (0.41 percent versus 0.21 percent). This was concentrated in outpatient care centers and home health. This is a good sign because these are low-cost locations of care.

See Table I below the fold:

TIa

Year on year, health jobs still outpace non-health jobs, having grown 1.6 times faster (2.46 percent versus 1.54 percent). However, jobs in nursing facilities declined a little (Table II).

TIIa

There was a revision adding jobs to previous estimates for November and December. However, there was a massive downward revision of previous estimates of health jobs (Table III).

TIIIb

 

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