The United States healthcare sector added 16,700 jobs in July, according to the monthly Employment Situation Summary released Friday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That increase in healthcare jobs accounted for 10.6 percent of the nationwide number of jobs added in July (157,000). It marked the 60th consecutive month of job growth in the healthcare sector, which last lost jobs from June to July 2013 – and then, the loss was only 1,800 jobs.

The unemployment rate for the healthcare and social services subcategory remained at 2.5 percent in July, after an uptick from 2.3 percent in May to 2.5 percent in June. The nationwide unemployment rate for non-farm positions dropped to 3.9 percent in July after moving past 4.0 percent in June.

The healthcare and social assistance unemployment rate has remained less than 3.0 percent nationwide for the past six months, the longest such stretch since it stay between 2.9 percent and 2.5 percent during the 12-month stretch of August 2006 until July 2007.

The last full calendar year with sub-3.0 percent unemployment in every monthly report was 2000, when it began the year at 2.2 percent in January and ended at 2.1 percent in December.

Job growth for ambulatory healthcare positions and hospitals remained strong in July. On the strength of continued growth for outpatient care centers and home care services, 9,900 ambulatory healthcare jobs were added in July. Hospitals added 6,800 jobs in July.

During the past 12 months, outpatient care centers have added 35,600 jobs, 12.5 percent of the estimated 285,000 healthcare jobs added since July 2017. Home health services jobs have increased by 37,700 in the past 12 months, accounting for 12.9 percent of all added healthcare jobs.

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Carter Gaddis is a journalist and digital content specialist whose work has appeared in the Tampa Tribune, on the TODAY Show's parents and healthcare pages, and many other print and online publications.


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