Health Care Workers Underpin US Jobs Growth In February

Zinger Key Points
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that of the 275,000 increase in payrolls in February, 67,000 were added in the health care.
  • Government employment is the next biggest growth area, with 52,000 new jobs being created.

The health care industry contributed more than a quarter of the 275,000 jobs created in the U.S. in February, as the industry continues to seek hospital and ambulatory care staff.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, published on Friday, showed that of the 275,000 increase in payrolls in February, 67,000 were added in the health care sector, well above the 12-month average of 58,000.

Of these 67,000 new jobs, around 28,000 were added in ambulatory health care — medical services provided on an outpatient basis. Another 28,000 were employed in hospitals and around 11,000 were provided to nursing and residential care workers.

Health care has become one of the best-performing investment sectors as new blockbuster drugs such as weight-loss treatments become increasingly popular. The Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund XLV, an exchange traded fund that tracks the industry, has gained nearly 8% this year.

Also Read: February Jobs Growth Tops Forecasts, Yet Higher Jobless Rate, Easing Wages Give Green Light To Fed Rate Cuts

Government Employment Steady

Government employment was the next biggest growth area, with 52,000 new jobs being created — close to the 12-month average of 53,000 — as local governments added 26,000 and federal government added 9,000.

Construction jobs increased by 23,000, beating the 12-month average of 18,000 thanks to growth in heavy and civil engineering jobs. The construction industry has gained momentum in 2024 and the Invesco Building & Construction ETF PKB is up nearly 13% year-to-date.

Transportation and warehousing jobs rose by 20,000, with 17,000 new couriers and messengers added to the labor force after losing around 70,000 in the prior three months. Air transportation gained 4,000. However, the sector as a whole is down by 144,000 since peaking in July 2022.

The iShares Transportation Average ETF IYT has gained nearly 7% so far in 2024.

Retail trade employment was up by 19,000 jobs in February, showing little net change over the past year. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF XRT is up nearly 5% year-to-date.

Now Read: Apple Vs. Nvidia: Only One Added $1 Trillion In 67 Days As Battle For Mega-Cap Dominance Continues

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Posted In: Bureau of Labor StatisticsEmployment ReportExpert Ideashealth carelabor marketnon farm payrollsStories That MatterUnemployment
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