Hospitals are Economic Anchors in their Communities

In 2015, America’s hospitals treated 142 million people in their emergency departments, provided 581 million outpatient visits, performed almost 27 million surgeries and delivered nearly 4 million babies. Every year, hospitals provide vital health care services like these to hundreds of millions of people in thousands of communities. However, the importance of hospitals to their communities extends far beyond health care.

The health care sector has traditionally been an economic mainstay, providing stability and job growth in communities. Health care added more than 35,000 jobs per month in 2016.1

Hospital care is an important component of the health care sector. Hospitals:

  • Employ more than 5.7 million people.
  • Are one of the top sources of private-sector jobs.
  • Purchase nearly $852 billion in goods and services from other businesses.

The goods and services hospitals purchase from other businesses create additional economic value for the community. With these “ripple effects” included, each hospital job supports about two additional jobs, and every dollar spent by a hospital supports roughly $2.30 of additional business activity. Overall, hospitals:

  • Support 16 million total jobs, or one of 9 jobs, in the U.S.
  • Support more than $2.8 trillion in economic activity.

1. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Current Employment Statistics Highlights, December 2016.

Related Resources

Opinion / Editorial
Public
The affordability of health care services is one of the biggest concerns facing families, as well as employers and government. However, it is a challenge that…
Bibliography/Link Page
Public
Other Resources
Public
This page includes data that compares the cost of providing care versus what Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance plans pay hospitals.
Guides/Reports
Public
Financial Fact Sheets
Dataset
Public
Hospitals and health systems are where the most complex care is provided for ill and injured patients.