Growth in Healthcare Prices, Costs, Jobs at a Crawl

U.S. healthcare prices in April 2013 were 1.1 percent higher compared with the previous April — making last month's growth rate the lowest its been since November 1997 and half a percent slower than the year-over-year growth rate in March, according to the latest data from the Altarum Institute's Health Sector Economic Indicators reports.


The 12-month average in hospital price growth of 1.8 percent calculated in April was down nearly 1 percent from the March year-to-year average of 2.7 percent, and the lowest since September 1998's 12-month average of 1.7 percent. 


Job growth in healthcare has slowed, adding 11,000 jobs to the sector in May compared to the five-month average of 18,000. Hospital job growth was especially weak, as 5,900 jobs were lost that month despite a 24-month average gain of 4,700.


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