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Health care a leading part of job growth in May


National report details monthly unemployment changes.

unemployment meter: © Olivier Le Moal - stock.adobe.com

© Olivier Le Moal - stock.adobe.com

Health care was a leading sector for job growth in May as the nation’s businesses and governments added 272,000 jobs last month.

Health care added 68,000 jobs in May, tracking the average monthly gain of 64,000 over the last year, according to the May report by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Overall the economy added 272,000 jobs for the month, more than the average monthly gain of 232,000 over the past 12 months, the report said.

Offices of physicians added 13,400 workers, part of the job growth totaling 42,700 jobs in ambulatory health care services. Home health care services hired 19,600 workers. Offices of other health practitioners added 5,200 workers and offices of dentists hired 3,600 new staff members. Outpatient care centers added 2,700 new employees. In the sector, other ambulatory health care services decreased by 1,400 jobs, while medical and diagnostic laboratories dipped by 500 workers from April to May.

Hospitals added 15,000 workers, and nursing and residential care facilities hired 10,600 new staffers, according to the figures.

Other sectors

In other sectors, government employment expanded by 42,700 workers, down slightly from the average monthly growth of 52,000 employees over the last 12 months. Leisure and hospitality grew by 42,000, more than the average monthly gain of 35,000 workers over the past year, with food services adding 25,000 of those jobs.

Professional, scientific and technical services grew by 32,000 jobs in May, more than the average monthly gain of 19,000 in the last 12 months, with management, scientific and technical consulting services leading with 14,000 new jobs.

Other growing sectors included social assistance employment, up 15,000 jobs, and retail trade, which added 13,000 jobs. Some sectors were flat in May: mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction; construction; manufacturing; wholesale trade; transportation and warehousing; information; financial activities; and other services, the BLS report said.

Elected leaders react

In a statement published June 7, President Joe Biden said: “The great American comeback continues, but we still have to make more progress.”

In his tenure, the economy has grown by 15.6 million jobs and unemployment has stayed at or below 4% for 30 months, the longest stretch in 50 years. A record high of working-age women have jobs, the president’s statement said.

The president called on corporations with record profits to lower prices and he credited retailers Target and Walmart for doing so. He referred to his personal history growing up in Pennsylvania and contrasted his goals with those of Republicans.

“Congressional Republicans have a different vision – one that puts billionaires and special interests first,” the president’s statement said. “The Republican plan would increase inflation by repealing the Affordable Care Act, siding with Big Oil to raise utility bills, letting Big Banks rip off Americans, and blow up the debt by slashing taxes for billionaires. I will never stop fighting for Scranton – not Park Avenue.”

Rep. Jason Smith (R-Missouri), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, referred to an estimate reported by Bloomberg news that job growth may have been overstated by 730,000 for 2023.

“Under President Biden’s failed leadership, a paycheck doesn’t stretch as far as it once did, the economy is struggling, and small businesses are falling behind,” Smith said in a statement. He referred to the 2017 tax cuts approved under former President Donald Trump, with the current president’s plan to let those expire.

The Ways and Means Committee’s tax teams “are committee to protecting working families and small businesses from more ‘Bidenomics,’” he said.

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