Healthcare sector fueling job recovery, study finds

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"In a national economy that is still 2.5 million jobs short of its pre-recession peak, healthcare is a bright spot," said Martha Ross with the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program in a statement.

"Employment will only grow as baby boomers age and are more likely to use healthcare services," she added.

The report from the program's MetroMonitor index found that about one in 10 U.S. workers is now employed in the healthcare industry.

The sector has expanded by 22.7 percent over the last decade — more than ten times the average in other industries.

This growth does not necessarily mean all healthcare jobs are well-paying, however.

Healthcare is a labor-intensive industry, and there are major wage disparities between practitioners, technologists and support workers, such as nursing assistants.

Employees in the third category earn 37 percent less than all workers in large metro areas, Brookings found.