- The healthcare industry gained 38,800 jobs in September, up from the amount added in August but largely on par with the average increase over the past 12 months, according to figures the U.S. Bureau of Labor released Friday.
- Ambulatory services saw the most gain with 28,700 jobs. Hospitals accounted for 8,100 positions while nursing and residential care facilities brought in 2,000.
- The number of healthcare jobs added in August was revised upward significantly to 37,200 from the initial estimate of 23,900. Hospital employment was revised up to 14,000 from nearly 9,000.
The numbers show healthcare employment "remains remarkably strong" as it continue to grow month to month, Jefferies analysts said in a note.
"We believe the combination of strong demand growth from healthcare employers and shortages of many clinicians (nurses, physicians) creates a positive set-up for the healthcare temp staffing industry," the analysts wrote.
Healthcare job gains year-to-year have averaged 2.5% for 2019, up from 1.8% in 2018, the analysts noted.
Overall in the U.S., 136,000 jobs were added last month, sending the unemployment rate down 0.2 percentage points to 3.5%, the lowest it's been since December 1969. Healthcare led the way, followed by professional and business services at 34,000, and government employment at 22,000.
Home healthcare job gains were down slightly in September at 5,700. Physicians offices added 5,200 jobs while outpatient care centers gained 4,800.
Although the jobs numbers are strong for the industry and hospitals, some individual systems are dealing with labor strife. Kaiser Permanente appears to be holding off a strike of nearly 85,000 nonclinical workers that had been planned this month after agreeing to annual wage increase guarantees and a defined benefit pension plan.
And last month, 65,00 nurses across a dozen Tenet hospitals took to the picket line after failing to reach a contract agreement with the hospital operator.