(AP) U.S. hospitals support nearly one of nine jobs in the country and more than $2.1 trillion in economic activity, according to a study funded by the industry's trade group. The American Hospital Association report concluded hospitals directly employed nearly 5.4 million people in 2008. That's up from about 4.3 million people in 1993, according to an analysis by Avelere Health of data from the hospital association's annual survey.
For many communities, hospitals are a source of economic stability, with many adding jobs during recessions, as occurred during the recent one. The report found each hospital job also supports nearly two additional jobs because of ripple effects, such as goods and services purchased in each hospital's community.
Hospitals accounted for $718 billion of the roughly $2.3 trillion spent in the healthcare sector in 2008, including spending about $320 billion on goods and services from other businesses.
In 2008, U.S. hospitals cared for 624 million outpatients, treated 123 million people in emergency departments, performed 27 million surgeries and delivered 4 million babies.