|By Business Wire||
|August 8, 2013 01:00 PM EDT||
Health care employment rose by only 2,500 jobs in July 2013, well below the 24-month average of 22,000, and the lowest increase since July 2003. Hospitals lost 4,400 jobs in July, and downward revisions wiped out most of June’s gains. Over the past three months, hospitals have lost 13,000 jobs. Ambulatory care employment continues to rise (up by 6,600), but this is well below the 24-month average of 15,600, and nursing and residential care job growth is essentially flat.
These data come from the monthly Health Sector Economic IndicatorsSM Labor Brief released by Altarum Institute’s Center for Sustainable Health Spending (www.altarum.org/HealthIndicators).
“In addition to moderation in ambulatory health sector job growth, our data show hospitals actually shedding jobs over the past three months. This jibes with reports of unexpectedly low hospital utilization rates and belt tightening in anticipation of very low Medicare payment rate increases. We will be watching hospital jobs closely in the next couple of months to see if this is the start of a longer term trend,” said Charles Roehrig, director of the Center. “We will also be analyzing how closely this revised health labor path aligns with the new health spending data we are releasing next week.”
The health sector share of total employment fell slightly to 10.71 percent in July, barely below its all-time high rate of 10.73 percent, first reached in December 2012.
[Note: Due to once-every-five-year government “benchmark” data revisions, the Center’s briefs on health care spending and prices are delayed and will be released on Thursday, August 15.]
See slide presentations for our July 30 meeting in Washington, DC, Symposium on Sustainable U.S. Health Spending: Public Sector Imperative, Private Sector Urgency
Speakers included Ceci Connolly, Maya MacGuineas, David Walker, Stephen Zuckerman, Chapin White, Joanne Kenen, Gene Steuerle, Charles Roehrig, Thomas Getzen, Uwe Reinhardt, David Cutler, and John Holahan. Look for the forthcoming full video, highlights video, and symposium monograph.
Altarum Institute (www.altarum.org) integrates objective research and client-centered consulting skills to deliver comprehensive, systems-based solutions that improve health and health care. Altarum employs more than 400 individuals and is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., with additional offices in the Washington, D.C., area; Atlanta, Ga.; Portland, Maine; and San Antonio, Texas.