By Julian Pecquet - 10/07/11 01:12 PM EDT
The nation's healthcare workforce continued to grow faster than any other sector of the economy in September, even as the unemployment rate held steady at 9.1 percent, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The healthcare industry added 44,000 jobs, more than one third of the total 103,000 increase in nonfarm employment. Ambulatory healthcare services — such as physicians' offices, dentists and diagnostic labs — gained 26,000 jobs, while hospitals gained another 13,000.
Last month, the healthcare sector added almost 30,000 jobs even as the economy as a whole gained zero new net jobs.
The Labor Department predicts that healthcare will grow faster than any other industry through 2018, largely because of the aging population.