In 2014, the U.S. experienced its best year for job growth in 15 years, adding nearly 3 million jobs.
That prompts the question: Who is doing the hiring?
Business and professional services added 732,000 jobs last year, CNN Money reports. Meanwhile, health care also experienced a significant surge in hiring.
Forbes contributor Dan Diamond said the 311,000 jobs the health care industry added in 2014 represents a 50 percent increase in the positions it added in 2013.
So, what’s the reason behind the swelling of the health care ranks? According to Diamond, a bump in health care positions should really come as no surprise considering what’s happened with the Affordable Care Act. Here are two big reasons that more than 311,000 health care workers were hired last year:
- ACA. More Americans are going to the doctor now that they have health insurance to help defray the costs. More patients drive the need for more health care professionals. “That capital infusion had positive implications across the board — more staff working to serve newly insured patients, more caregivers in demand, more confidence to go ahead with hiring decisions,” Diamond wrote.
- Hospitals on the upswing. After the hospital sector decreased in 2013, the ACA, also known as Obamacare, is helping hospitals bounce back. “A decline in uninsured patients meant less bad debt and more revenue,” Diamond says.
CNN Money said other big job gains in 2014 were in leisure and hospitality (421,000 jobs), construction (290,000), retail trade (250,000), manufacturing (186,000), financial services (121,000) and government (91,000).
So, what’s in store for 2015? Diamond said it’s still unclear if the health care hiring boom will continue.
2015 is full of uncertainty that stands to affect providers — a major ACA court case could strip health insurance from millions of Americans, pending Medicare cuts, and more. But on the flip side, the thousands of hospitals in Florida, Texas, and other non-ACA holdout states could see a revenue uptick if their legislators end up working out a deal to expand Medicaid.
Any surprises on the list of big hires for 2014? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.