Category Archives: Economy

Health Care Job Growth Plummets in January

ANN ARBOR — The United States health care industry added only 18,000 jobs in January 2017, the slowest monthly increase since January 2014, which marked the onset of the expanded coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

That’s the top news out of the monthly Health Sector Economic Indicators, released by the Center for Sustainable Health Spending at the Ann Arbor health care consulting firm Altarum Institute.

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Comerica Bank’s Michigan Index Ticks Up

DETROIT — Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index grew in October, up 1 percentage point to a level of 128.4. The increase broke a three-month decline in the index that started in July.

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October Health Spending Up 5.5%

ANN ARBOR — National health spending in October 2016 grew at an annual rate of 5.5 percent, driven up by the hospital component, which grew 6.6 percent, according to the monthly Health Sector Economic Indicators, published by the Ann Arbor-based Altarum Institute.

Unlike the past few years, the increase in prescription drug spending, only 3.5 percent growth, actually dampened the overall rate, despite a huge increase in prescription drug prices.

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Detroit CIOs’ Hiring Plans Cool

DETROIT — IT jobs will apparently become a bit harder to come by in the year ahead.

Sixteen percent of Detroit-area technology executives plan to expand their IT staff in the first half of 2017, according to the just-released Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Forecast and Local Trend Report. That’s down from 26 percent in the same survey six months ago, and 18 percent in the same survey a year ago.

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Comerica Michigan Business Index Falls Again

DETROIT — Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index fell in September, down 0.9 percentage points to a level of 128.1.

The Michigan Economic Activity Index consists of eight variables, as follows: nonfarm payrolls, exports, hotel occupancy rates, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, housing starts, sales tax revenues, home prices, and auto production. All data are seasonally adjusted, and indexed to a base year of 2008. Nominal values have been converted to constant dollar values. Index levels are expressed in terms of three-month moving averages.

Comerica economist Robert Dye blamed a slowdown in housing starts in the region, along with lower auto production and state tax revenues.

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Health Job Growth Slowing, But Still Higher Than Background

ANN ARBOR — As major changes may loom in the way America pays for healthcare, the industry continued to add jobs and national health spending advanced in October.

That was the word Friday from the monthly Health Sector Economic Indicators, released by the Ann Arbor-based Altarum Institute’s Center for Sustainable Health Spending.

The report did not mention any possible effect on the health care industry of Donald Trump’s presidential win. A call to the company was not immediately returned.

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Health Spending Up 5.5% in August

ANN ARBOR — The nation’s spending on health care was up 5.5 percent from August 2015 to August 2016, a $3.4 trillion annual rate, according to the monthly Health Sector Economic Indicators, released by the Center for Sustainable Health Spending at the Ann Arbor-based healthcare consultant Altarum Institute.

The consulting firm said the survey showed unexpectedly high growth in spending on health care services in the second quarter. Spending on prescription drugs grew by only 4.3 percent in August, despite higher growth in prescription drug prices.

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