ANN ARBOR, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–
Health sector employment ended 2014 with a bang as it added 34,100 new jobs in December 2014 and saw upward revisions of 17,800 in October and November. The fourth-quarter increase of 108,000 new health jobs was the highest 3-month gain since 2002. The health share of total employment rose slightly to 10.63 percent. Notably, the number of nonhealth jobs has finally returned to a number that existed 7 years ago, at the start of the recession.
Health care prices in November 2014 were 1.6 percent higher than in November 2013, a 10th higher than the October year-over-year rate. Year-over-year hospital prices grew 1.1 percent in November, equal to the October value, a more-than-16-year low. Prescription drug prices rose 4.6 percent, up from 4.1 percent in October, its highest rate since April 2010.
National health spending in November 2014 grew 5.1 percent over November 2013. Incorporating the Quarterly Services Survey, released on December 10, we now estimate that national health spending in the third quarter was 5.5 percent greater than in the third quarter of 2013—the highest growth rate since the first quarter of 2008, when it was 5.8 percent. Spending in November, year over year, increased in all major categories. Prescription drugs grew the fastest, at 10.9 percent.
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 January jobs report provides our first full look at calendar year 2014 and reveals that the 50 percent increase in health sector job growth experienced in the second and third quarters has intensified in the fourth quarter,” said Charles Roehrig, director of the Center. “On average, the fourth quarter added about 36,000 jobs per month, more than twice the 17,000 figure for full-year 2013. December was a noteworthy month for total nonhealth jobs whose number has finally returned to its pre-recession level. In contrast, the health sector has added 1.81 million jobs during this time.”
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, Mich., with additional offices in the Washington, D.C., area; Portland, Maine; and San Antonio, Texas.
- Health Care Industry
Ken Schwartz, 571-733-5709