Healthcare hiring recovered in June after spring slump

Healthcare hiring ticked back up in June after taking a dive in April and May.

The sector added 34,900 jobs last month, up significantly from 15,700 in May, the weakest month since September 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest jobs report, released Friday.

The U.S. unemployment rate grew slightly to 3.7% in June, compared with 3.6% in both May and April. Total nonfarm employment increased by 224,000 in June, according to the report.

More than half of healthcare’s new hires were in the ambulatory sector, which added 18,500 jobs in June, mostly in home health and physicians’ offices. Home health reported the most new hires, at 8,000. The sector netted no new hires in May. Physicians’ offices added 6,700 jobs, down 15% from May.

Outpatient-care centers added 3,800 new jobs in June after adding just 200 in May. Other ambulatory healthcare services didn’t add any jobs last month, even after shedding 500 in May.

June wasn’t as strong for dentists’ offices, which shed 1,100 jobs. Medical and diagnostic laboratories shed 300 jobs.

It was a good month for hospitals, which made 11,200 new hires.

Healthcare’s nursing and residential care sector added 5,200 jobs in June, an improvement from just 500 in May. Residential mental health facilities saw the strongest growth, adding 2,500, compared with losing 100 jobs in May.

Nursing care facilities added 1,600 jobs and community care facilities for the elderly added 1,700 jobs. Hiring in both sectors was flat in May.

Healthcare employment has grown by 403,000 jobs over the past 12 months, according to the BLS.

Healthcare was beat out last month by the professional and business services sector, which added 51,000 jobs. The sector added more jobs than transportation and warehousing, however, which added just 24,000 jobs. Construction made 21,000 new hires and manufacturing added 17,000 jobs.

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