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March 1995, Vol. 118, No. 3
Barbara H. Wootton and Laura T. Ross
Economists, Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics
H ospitals in metropolitan areas are staffed very differently from those in nonmetropolitan areas.1 Doctors, registered nurses, and other health care professionals hold a smaller share of employment in nonmetropolitan area hospitals than they do in their metropolitan area counterparts, according to data from the 1992 Occupational Employment statistics survey. These survey data also reveal that occupational staffing patterns vary significantly among hospitals in different States. The relatively smaller size and resource base of nonmetropolitan area hospitals may account for these differences.
This article profiles trends in occupational employment in hospitals between 1989 and 1992, and presents detailed occupational employment data from the 1992 Occupational Employment Statistics survey of hospitals. The article provides, for the first time, data on staffing pattern differences between metropolitan and nonmetropolitan area hospitals and briefly discusses hospital employment differences among States. The data are derived from the 1989 and 1992 Occupational Employment Statistics surveys, which cover all private and State and local government hospitals. 2
The hospital industry includes general medical and surgical hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, and specialty hospitals such as children's and orthopedic hospitals.3 These establishments are primarily engaged in providing diagnostic and extensive medical treatment services, including surgical and other hospital services, as well as continuous nursing care. They have organized medical staffs, inpatient beds, and equipment and facilities to provide complete health care.
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1 Metropolitan Areas are defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget under standards published in the Federal Register on January 3, 1980, and definitions as of June 30, 1990. Generally speaking, a Metropolitan Statistical Area is a "free-standing" urban area that meets a specified size criteria.
2 The Occupational Employment Statistics program is a Federal-State cooperative survey of nonfarm establishments designed to develop current occupational employment data of wage and salary workers by industry. The survey follows a 3-year cycle: in the first year, it covers manufacturing industries, hospitals, and agricultural services; in the second year , mining, construction, finance, and service industries; and in the third year , trade , transportation, communications, public utilities, education, and government services industries. the survey is based on the probability sample, stratified by industry, geographic area, and employment size of firm.
3 Standard Industrial Classification Manual (U.S. Office of Management and Budget, 1987), pp.387-88
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