U.S. job growth stalled in August, but healthcare hiring continues to rise

While the U.S. economy experienced practically no job growth in August, the healthcare sector continued to buck the national trend, as the industry added 29,700 positions.

Over the past 12 months, healthcare industry employment has grown by 306,000 jobs.

[See also: July another good job growth month for healthcare.]

According to the latest employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the biggest healthcare job gains were in ambulatory care settings and at hospitals. Approximately 18,100 ambulatory care jobs were added in August, while employment at hospitals rose by 7,700.

The dominant job growth area in ambulatory care was in home healthcare services, which added 6,300 jobs. Physician offices added 5,600 jobs, while outpatient care centers boosted employment by 1,400 jobs.

Nursing and residential care facilities also increased hiring in August, adding 3,900 jobs.

Overall, total non-farm payroll employment was unchanged in August, and the national unemployment rate held steady at 9.1 percent. The rate has changed little since April. The total number of unemployed persons rose incrementally to 14.0 million.

The national labor force, currently at 153.6 million, increased by 400,000 from July to August.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 or more weeks) declined by 200,000 to 6.0 million. The long-term unemployed currently make up about 42.9 percent of unemployed persons.

Follow HFN editor Richard Pizzi on Twitter @HFNeditor.