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The MedZilla Report for March 2010 - Layoffs Down in February Despite Merck Merger; Health Care Employment Up Again
Date:3/16/2010

Even as the U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged, health care added another 20,000 jobs. Layoffs were also down overall, although the pharmaceutical industry reported high job cuts due to the Merck/Schering-Plough merger.

(Vocus) -- Even as the United States unemployment rate remained unchanged in February, health care continued to add jobs, with growth of more than 20,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the month was not so kind to pharmaceutical companies: according to outplacement research firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the industry announced more layoffs than any other, primarily due to Merck & Co.'s acquisition of Schering-Plough. But even in the difficult pharmaceutical field, layoffs overall were down by about 17 percent compared to the first two months of 2009. There was more good news in February as well; Challenger, Gray & Christmas said planned job cuts across all industries were down by 41 percent, to their lowest level since 2006.

Despite overall job growth in health care, some hospital systems were forced to continue cutting jobs in an effort to make ends meet. In Mississippi, River Oaks Hospital reportedly eliminated about 30 people in clerical and administrative positions (clarionledger.com, 2/27/10). The same hospital system placed several employees on leave in late 2008 in an attempt to save money. But the biggest layoff news continued to come from the pharmaceutical industry, as Merck said that, by the end of 2010, they plan to reduce their worldwide workforce b
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The MedZilla Report for March 2010 - Layoffs Down in February Despite Merck Merger; Health Care Employment Up Again
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