By Sam Baker - 09/02/11 01:54 PM EDT
Healthcare added nearly 30,000 jobs last month — by far the most of any sector of the economy.
The health industry added 29,700 jobs in August, according to data the Labor Department released Friday morning. No other sector came close to those numbers. Overall, growth in healthcare and other sectors was offset by job losses. The economy did not gain any jobs and the unemployment rate remained flat at 9.1 percent.
Within healthcare, "ambulatory health care services" showed the largest growth, adding roughly 18,000 jobs. Hospitals gained more than 7,700, and home health companies added more than 6,000 people to their payrolls.
Healthcare also led U.S. hiring in July.
The Labor Department has predicted that healthcare will grow faster than any other industry through 2018, largely because the aging population will keep demand for healthcare services high.