Hospital employment increased by 1.7 percent from May 2010 to May 2014, with physicians and surgeons leading the charge, their employment growing 25.5 percent over that time, according to a MedPAC analysis of Bureau of Labor statistics.
Computer and math science positions also saw a considerable spike, coming in second with 17.9 percent growth. Life, physical and social science positions followed closely behind at 16.5 percent growth. Pharmacy and business, and finance positions saw 12.5 and 10.9 percent growth, respectively, rounding out the top five.
MedPAC saw growth in the overall number of hospital-employed physicians as a signal that hospitals have been more active in recent years in hiring physicians directly; growth in computer and math science positions was seen as reflecting hospitals' efforts to implement electronic health record systems.
Not all occupations exhibited growth. Licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses saw notable declines, as did office and administrative staff, clinical laboratory technicians, and community and social service positions, such as social workers.
During that same time period, the number of LPN/LVNs dipped 30 percent, by roughly 44,000 jobs. By contrast, the number of registered nurses employed by hospitals increased by around 39,000 nurses, or 2.6 percent, suggesting a shift toward employing nurses with a higher level of training.
Industry-level data from the BLS indicates overall hospital employment increased 5 percent between May 2014 and January 2016. As of this January, hospitals accounted for about 3.4 percent of all non-farming employment in the United States.