Hospitals’ contribution to their communities extends far beyond their role as health care cornerstones. As the most recent update of our annual report on hospitals’ economic impact makes clear, they also are economic anchors, providing the stability and growth that contributes greatly to the financial health of the communities they serve.

The health care field has traditionally been an economic lynchpin for the nation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that health care as a whole added an average of 35,000 jobs per month in 2016.

We studied economic activity in 2015, and found hospitals specifically employed more than 5.7 million, were one of the top sources of private-sector jobs and spent nearly $852 billion on goods and services from other businesses.

Those goods and services created additional economic value for the community by supporting 16 million total jobs and more than $2.8 trillion in economic activity. This translates into hospitals supporting one of every nine jobs in the U.S.

Hospitals provide vital high-quality health care services to millions of people each year and support a healthy, productive workforce. But what’s not well enough known is how all that quality health care acts as an engine driving trillions of dollars of economic activity in communities across the nation.