February 2015 Health Sector Economic Indicators Briefs

Economic Indicators | February 12, 2015

Health sector employment began 2015 much as it left off in 2014, adding 38,300 new jobs in January 2015, consistent with the 39,000 new jobs per month seen in the fourth quarter of 2014. Over the past 3 months, the health sector has added 127,000 jobs, the largest quarterly increase since January 1990 (which is as far back as our data go). Health care prices in December 2014 were 1.8% higher than in December 2013, two-tenths of a percentage point above the November rate. Prescription drug prices rose 6.4%, a growth rate not seen since 1992, well up from 4.6% in November. Preliminary estimates indicate that national health spending grew by 5.0% in 2014 and by 5.6% in December 2014 compared with December 2013, up significantly from the official 2013 national spending growth rate of 3.6%—the all-time low.

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