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Healthcare gains jobs in January despite government shutdown

The healthcare sector was undeterred by the government shutdown that went on for most of January, making 41,600 new hires last month and nearly 20,000 more new hires as compared to January 2018.

Healthcare was the third biggest job maker in January, trailing behind leisure and hospitality and construction, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ January jobs report released Friday. Although hiring in healthcare was strong, it dropped by 15% compared to the hires made in December. The industry made 48,900 new hires in December, which is slightly lower than the 50,200 record-breaking hires the bureau initially reported but still unusually high. In January 2018, healthcare added 23,700 jobs.

The private sector economy kept on hiring in January despite the government shutdown that lasted 35 days. Overall, employment increased by 304,000 jobs in January, beating economists’ expectations. Leisure and hospitality led that growth with 74,000 hires while construction increased its labor force by 52,000.

In healthcare, ambulatory care services led the sector’s job growth in January, making 22,100 hires.

Hospitals followed closely with 18,800 new hires.