Health services had biggest employment gain in 2002

March 27, 2003

Health services hired more workers (270,000) than any other industry in 2002, as its employment grew 2.6 percent.

Percent change in employment in health services and selected components, fourth quarter 2001 to fourth quarter 2002 (seasonally adjusted)
[Chart data—TXT]

Aging baby-boomers, population growth, and technological advances generated increased demand for healthcare services. Hospitals accounted for the largest share of the job growth, with 113,000 hires, while offices and clinics of medical doctors added 63,000 workers to their payrolls.

Employment in hospitals grew 2.7 percent in 2002, compared with average annual growth of 1.6 percent from 1996 to 2001. This accelerated growth is likely linked to a loosening of labor markets in 2001 and 2002. Acute shortages of workers—in both specialized and nonspecialized occupations—have plagued the industry in recent years, but the recent overall weakening of the labor market has allowed them to reduce some shortages.

These data are from the Current Employment Statistics program. The above figures refer to fourth-quarter averages and are seasonally adjusted. Find out more about employment in 2002 in "U.S. labor market in 2002: continued weakness," by Terence M. McMenamin, Rachel Krantz, and Thomas J. Krolik, Monthly Labor Review, February 2003.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Health services had biggest employment gain in 2002 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2003/mar/wk4/art04.htm (visited October 01, 2016).

OF INTEREST

Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

  • A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
    As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.

  • Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
    Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.

  • Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
    Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.