The healthcare sector gained approximately 40,000 jobs in April, according to employment data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s down slightly from an average monthly gain of 47,000 over the previous six months. Employment in nursing homes and residential care facilities continued to trend upward, adding 9,000 jobs last month. That number still is lagging behind ambulatory healthcare services, which gained 24,000 jobs, but ahead of hospitals, which gained 7,000 in April. 

Overall, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 253,000 in April, and the unemployment rate changed little at 3.4%, the data show. In addition to healthcare, employment continued to trend up in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and social assistance.

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by $0.16, or 0.5%, to $33.36 in April. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 4.4%, according to BLS. 

In healthcare, as the McKnight’s Business Daily previously reported, April saw a “burst of hiring,” yet annual wage growth decelerated to 6.7% year-over-year, according to the April ADP National Employment Report produced by the ADP Research Institute in collaboration with the Stanford Digital Economy Lab.