Healthcare adds another 18,300 jobs in January


The great healthcare jobs creation machine kept cranking in January despite industry uncertainty over plans to repeal and possibly replace the Affordable Care Act.

The industry produced 18,300 new jobs in January, raising overall employment in the sector to 15,617,200, according to the January jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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That’s up 374,300 jobs from a year ago and 58,500 from November when Donald Trump won the presidency in an upset.

Trump is making the repeal of the ACA one of his first orders of business. The program has helped up to 30 million people gain insurance.

Overall, nonfarm jobs grew a solid 227,000 in January to 145.8 million.

Healthcare, the industry that led the charge in jobs growth throughout 2016, saw construction and retail trade shoulder more of the lifting in January. Ambulatory healthcare services led the way with 11,000 new jobs in January. The segment employed 7.2 million people.

Hospitals also hired 4,000 more people in January, bringing its overall employment to 5.1 million.

Healthcare was the top job-producing sector over the past two years. It added 406,600 jobs in 2016 and 474,700 jobs in 2015.

While the 18,300 new jobs in January was about half of the average monthly gain made by healthcare in 2016, the sector more than continued to hold its own compared with other sectors.