Healthcare industry adds 45K jobs in December

The healthcare industry continued to grow, adding 45,000 jobs to the nation's economy in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday.

The total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 155,000, and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.8 percent, according to the BLS report. In addition, the number of unemployed individuals in December remained around the same as the previous month at 12.2 million.

[See also: Healthcare industry adds jobs as 2011 begins]

The largest job growth within the healthcare industry was in ambulatory healthcare services, which added 23,000 jobs last month. The industry also added 12,000 jobs in hospitals and 10,000 jobs in nursing and residential care facilities.

Overall in 2012, healthcare employment rose by 338,000. In addition to healthcare, food services and drinking places experienced growth in December, adding 38,000 jobs. Construction also added 30,000 jobs and manufacturing employment rose by 25,000.

[See also: Healthcare adds 12K jobs in July]