ANN ARBOR, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–
Health care gained a solid 24,500 jobs in October 2014, similar to the 26,000 average from the previous two quarters, and well above the 17,500 average for the 12 months ending in March 2014. The health share of total employment held at 10.62%, down from the high of 10.66% last seen in December 2012. For the past year, non-health jobs have been growing slightly faster than health jobs.
Health care prices in September 2014 were 1.7% higher than in September 2013, equal to the August year-over-year reading. The September 2014 12-month moving average rose to 1.5%, the highest since September 2013, continuing its upward trend since March 2014. This upward trend is driven by prices for prescription drugs, which grew at 3.8% in September.
National health spending in September 2014 grew 4.7% over September 2013, and the preliminary health spending share of GDP was 17.4% in September, up from 16.0% at the start of the recession in December 2007. Spending in September, year over year, increased in all major categories, with prescription drugs growing the fastest, at 10.8%. Estimates for spending on health care services for the third quarter are preliminary and will be updated with the release of the Quarterly Services Survey (QSS) in December.
These data come from the monthly Health Sector Economic IndicatorsSM briefs released by Altarum’s Center for Sustainable Health Spending (www.altarum.org/HealthIndicators).
“The higher growth rate for health care jobs has continued into October,” said Charles Roehrig, director of the Center. “These data measure jobs in the health care services industries, and we will learn, with the release of the QSS in mid-December, whether the faster pace in hiring accords with an uptick in third quarter spending on health care services. Despite the millions of individuals gaining coverage under the Affordable Care Act, growth in spending for health care services has averaged only 3.6% in the first two quarters of 2014.”
Altarum Institute (www.altarum.org) integrates objective research and client-centered consulting skills to deliver comprehensive, systems-based solutions that improve health and health care. Altarum employs almost 400 individuals and is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with additional offices in the Washington, D.C., area; Portland, Maine; and San Antonio, Texas.
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