Employment in the U.S. healthcare sector increased by approximately 26,800 jobs in March, while the national unemployment rate remained steady at 9.7 percent, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The biggest healthcare job gains were in ambulatory care, where 15,500 jobs were added in March, and in nursing and residential care facilities, which added 9,400 jobs. Of the new ambulatory care jobs, 4,000 were in physicians’ offices and 4,300 were in home healthcare services.
Hospitals added approximately 1,900 jobs in March.
Overall, total non-farm payroll employment increased by 162,000 in March, while the number of unemployed remained almost unchanged at 15 million. However, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 or more weeks) increased by 414,000 over the month to 6.5 million.
Aside from the boost in healthcare jobs, much of the March job increases owed to a boost in temporary help services (which added 40,000 jobs) and the federal government hiring temporary census workers.