This morning’s jobs report was a return to normal, with jobs in health services growing twice as fast as non-health jobs (0.21 percent versus 0.10 percent). With 33,000 jobs added, health services accounted for one fifth 156,000 jobs added. Ambulatory sites (with the exception of labs) added jobs at more than double the rate of hospitals. Nursing and most other residential care facilities were flat (Table I).
Year on year, the broad trend is similar, with health jobs increasing almost twice as fast as non-health jobs. However, hospitals had a rate of job growth in line with ambulatory sites. With respect to residential facilities, mental health facilities showed a much higher rate of job growth than nursing homes and other residential facilities (Table II).
There was a significant revision to health jobs in August, which suggests last month’s report of a slower rate of job growth in health services than in other sectors was based on flawed data (Table III).
The disproportionately high share of job growth in health services is a deliberate outcome of Obamacare. While this trend persists, it will become increasingly hard to carry out reforms that will improve productivity in the delivery of care.