Healthcare Outpaced Average Job Growth in May

The healthcare industry added 34,000 jobs last month, twice its average monthly growth for the prior 12 months, according to the most recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Most of those jobs were gained in ambulatory settings, as ambulatory healthcare services added about 23,000 jobs last month. Hospitals gained 7,000 jobs in May.

The distribution of job gains in healthcare reflects a larger industry trend of shifting care from inpatient settings to ambulatory settings. "This has to do with the redesign of health systems of shifting care toward the appropriate settings," says Paul Bohne, managing partner in Witt/Kieffer's healthcare practice.

Many health systems are placing a renewed emphasis on treating patients in the most-appropriate setting to reduce costs, and ambulatory settings like physician offices and outpatient care centers tend to be lower-cost care settings — thus explaining the employment growth in ambulatory settings.

The nation's total employment rose by 217,000 jobs last month.

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