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June 2006

Employment in hospitals: unconventional patterns over time

William Goodman

The trends of employment in hospitals are atypical in comparison to those in other industries. Hospital jobs are more than resistant to recessions; the changes in hospital employment are countercyclical. This article first takes up influences other than the business cycle and then explains the countercyclical pattern of growth in employment. The clearest statistical relationship found with employment in all hospitals is the inverse relation between the growth rate of hospital employment and that of total payroll employment. In the article, the Current Employment Statistics survey is the primary source of statistics representing employment.

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