While the U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 10 percent in December 2009 and non-farm payroll employment fell by 85,000, the healthcare industry was still able to add 21,500 jobs during the last month of 2009, based on data released by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Healthcare and temporary services were two sectors able to add jobs in December 2009, while employment fell in construction, manufacturing and wholesale trade.
The BLS reported that notable employment gains were found in offices of physicians (9,000), home healthcare services (8,000) and outpatient care centers (2,500). Hospitals added 1,400 jobs, while nursing and residential care facility employment actually dropped by 2,700 jobs.
According to the BLS, the healthcare industry has added 631,000 jobs since the recession began.