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National Health Care Employment Rose by 399,000 during 2019; Hospitals Continue to Drive Economy

January 13, 2020

According to the latest data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), health care employment rose by 399,000 during 2019, following an increase of 350,000 in 2018. These data demonstrate that hospitals continue their role as key economic engines across the nation as well as in Pennsylvania.

The federal BLS data support BLS projections that health care occupations are projected to grow 14 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 1.9 million new jobs.

Pennsylvania hospitals' economic impact to the state economyA report recently released HAP shows the Pennsylvania’s hospitals and health systems are key economic engines in this state, contributing $136.1 billion to the state’s economy during fiscal year 2018, supporting nearly 654,000 jobs—more than one of every 10 jobs in the state. The hospital community’s economic impact on the commonwealth has grown more than 50 percent during the last decade and, given demographic and economic trends, is projected to continue growing during the coming years.

HAP’s report found that of the $136.1 billion in total economic impact, Pennsylvania’s hospital community contributes:

  • $60.5 billion in direct impact—the dollars hospitals paid out for employee salaries, wages, and benefits and for the many goods and services needed to provide health care services and support hospital and health system operations
  • $75.6 billion in ripple impact—the additional economic activity that results from the circulation of hospital dollars in local communities and across the state

The nearly 654,000 jobs powered by the hospital community—which provide $32.3 billion in total wages—include:

  • More than 290,000 jobs directly associated with hospitals and health systems
  • More than 363,000 jobs through ripple effects—like employees of hospital contractors or service providers whose salaries are supported by hospital staff spending

Additionally, during federal fiscal year 2018, Pennsylvania hospitals, health systems, and universities with hospital-affiliated medical schools brought to Pennsylvania more than $1.8 billion in research dollars from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to Pennsylvania. This cutting-edge research drives up quality and innovation, and its effects are felt across the country and around the world.

HAP’s report, as well as a white paper and interactive online dashboard are available at HAP’s website.

Please contact Sari, Siegel, PhD, HAP’s vice president, healthcare research, for more information.