Hospitals add $2.8 trillion to US economy, AHA report says

American Hospital Association estimates that each hospital job supports about two additional jobs.

Hospitals support 16 million total jobs, or one in nine jobs in the United States, according to an annual survey from the American Hospital Association. They also support more than $2.8 trillion in economic activity.

Those numbers don’t reflect direct hospital employment, but rather the “ripple effect” the AHA said hospitals exert across the broader economy. Directly, hospitals employ about 5.7 million people. That’s good enough to make them one of the top sources of private sector jobs, according to the AHA.

The group calculated the ripple effect by factoring in the $852 billion that hospitals spend on goods and services from other businesses. The AHA estimates that each hospital job supports about two additional jobs, and every dollar spent by a hospital supports roughly $2.30 of additional business activity.

According to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare added more than 35,000 jobs per month in 2016. In 2015, hospitals treated 142 million people in their emergency departments, provided 581 million outpatient visits, performed close to 27 million surgeries and delivered nearly 4 million babies, the AHA said.

The healthcare industry added about 18,300 jobs last month.

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