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Health Care Hiring Boom Boosts Economy

A boom in health care hiring is offsetting weaker job growth in other industries, helping the U.S. avoid a recession, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).

What’s going on: “Healthcare providers—including hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and doctors’ offices—accounted for 30% of U.S. job gains in the six months through October, though less than 11% of the country’s total employment, Labor Department figures show.”

  • Job growth has cooled this year in other industries—as did home sales and consumer spending—amid higher interest rates.
  • In August, September and October, health care payrolls increased 4.2% at an annualized rate, up from 3.1% in Q1. Meanwhile, in the same period, employment in other industries declined 1.1%.
  • Health care workers are in short supply, with demand outpacing availability.

Why it’s important: “Many economists expect U.S. economic growth to slow further in [the] coming months, leading to hiring freezes and possibly more layoffs. But healthcare hiring might be strong enough to prevent a sharper downturn”—largely because the work cannot be postponed, no matter how the economy is doing, one source told the Journal.

  • With a growing older population, the U.S. is likely to need even more health care workers in the coming years.

However … Employee burnout in the sector is high and exacerbated by the ongoing dearth of workers. 

The NAM says: “Manufacturers feel a deep commitment to providing quality health care,” said NAM Director of Domestic Policy Julia Bogue.

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