Thursday, June 04, 2015

Health passes manufacturing as biggest employer in largest share of counties; local data on map

Manufacturing, long a staple of many rural areas, is no longer the nation's major private employer by category, Tim Henderson reports for Stateline. Manufacturing employed the most people in about 30 percent of counties in 2008, but employed the most in only 25 percent in 2013.

At the same time, health care becoame the biggest employer in almost 33 percent of counties. One argument for expansion of Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in states with income taxes is that the expansion can pay for itself by expanding health-care employment. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear cites a study showing that is happening in his state.

"In every state but Hawaii, the health-care category, which includes 'social assistance' jobs such as day care and food bank workers, became the No. 1 source of employment in at least one county," Henderson writes. Stateline's story has an interactive map: here's a screen grab with data for a large Kentucky county. For your own version, click here)

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