December was a huge hiring month for healthcare, with the addition of 45,000 healthcare jobs for the month, according to the latest report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics today. Moreover, nearly 30 percent, close to one-third, of the nation's total December job growth (of 155,000 jobs) is attributable to the healthcare industry.
That brings the total annual healthcare job growth to 338,000 for 2012. The monthly average growth for healthcare was an addition of 28,166 jobs.
In December, healthcare's job growth was well-distributed between ambulatory care and hospital jobs. Ambulatory care added 23,000 jobs, including 6,800 medical office jobs, 2,900 jobs in outpatient care centers, and 5,400 new jobs in home health care.
Meanwhile, inpatient care added 22,000 jobs, including 12,000 new hospital jobs and 10,000 new jobs at nursing and residential care facilities.
The unemployment rate in healthcare is 5.2 percent, as compared with 5.5 percent industry unemployment this time last year. The healthcare industry's unemployment rate is also considerably lower than the nation's current overall unemployment rate of 7.8 percent, which is unchanged from last month.