There’s health care and then there’s the rest of the economy…..

The Supreme Court just heard about health care and the individual mandate. Let’s spend a few minutes looking at what the sector looks like in Colorado from an employment perspective.

In the chart below I show changes in employment for Colorado, considering the Health Care and Social Assistance (HCSA) sector, and all other private sector employment. What we see is that HCSA has been THE private sector job generator in Colorado. Looking at three month averages (December thru February), HCSA added 56,833 jobs since 2002. By comparison, all other private sectors in the state added 19,900 over this same time frame.

The story is even more apparent when looking at the past 5 years–essentially the start of the Great Recession. Overall, private sector employment excluding HCSA is down 113,900 jobs. HCSA helped mitigate these losses to the state economy, adding 26,700 jobs over the past 5 years.

Regardless of what you think about health care and insurance, it’s undeniable the sector has important economic impacts in the state.

Source: Current Employment Statistics/CDLE

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