Health Care Industry Added 43K Jobs in December

The health care industry added 43,000 jobs in December, extending a streak of monthly employment gains in the sector dating back to January 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday.

In November, the sector added almost 31,000 workers to payrolls. For 2016 as a whole, the health care industry added 407,000 jobs, according to BLS.

Overall, the U.S. economy added fewer jobs in December, compared with the previous month, and the unemployment rate increased. Employers added 156,000 workers to payrolls last month, after adding 204,000 in November, while the jobless rate rose to 4.7 percent from 4.6 percent.

The White House on Friday characterized the monthly employment as “eight years of labor market progress” under President Barack Obama. The administration has credited the 2010 Affordable Care Act with contributing to consistent job growth in recent years.

As congressional Republicans initiate efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a report released Thursday by the independent Commonwealth Fund warned that a repeal of the law could lead to a loss of 2.6 million jobs in 2019. The report projects that one-third of those jobs would come from the health care industry.

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