Healthcare workers represented approximately 12% (126 mil-lion) of the 2011 U.S. workforce and included 15.2 million professionals, technicians, support workers and others not directly providing patient care (e.g., maintenance and laundry). A steadily growing sector, the healthcare worker population already far exceeds that of the manufacturing sector (11.6 million) (BLS, 2012).

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, 2012d) divides healthcare [North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 62] into three sectors:

  1. ambulatory health (NAICS 621), with a 2011 worker population of 6.1 million divided across physician offices (2.3 million), home healthcare (1.1 mil-lion), outpatient and ambulatory surgery centers (0.6 million) and similar;

  2. hospitals (NAICS 622), with 5.7 million workers;

  3. nursing and residential care (NAICS 623), with 3.4 million.

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