The long-term care industry does more than serve our nation's elderly and disabled population: It plays a strong role in creating jobs in the U.S., according to a report released by the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) as part of the group's "The State of Long Term and Post-Acute Care" series that wrapped up last week. The long-term care industry accounts for 3.7% of total economic activity

Jobs are at the forefront of economic recovery in the U.S., and it's a fairly well-known fact that the healthcare industry is generally recession-proof: There will always be a need for medical care. So perhaps it  won't come as a surprise that the long-term care industry ranks as the nation's tenth-largest employer, beating out merchandise retail, food retail, and federal government personnel (both military and non-military).

AHCA's report takes a look at the "Economic Impact of Long Term Care Facilities" in the United States as a whole, and individual state-by-state reports can also be downloaded from the AHCA website. All told, the long-term care industry accounts for 3.7% of the nation's total economic activity and creates or supports 5.4 million jobs, according to Governor Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of AHCA/NCAL.

The significance of this data reaches further than employment in the healthcare industry. Healthcare needs create activity in other industries, such as food service, transportation and real estate. Further, Medicare and Medicaid cuts could have a significant impact on the ability of the long-term care industry to continue to play a strong role in economic recovery.

AHCA/NCAL is urging lawmakers to protect the Medicare and Medicaid funding streams that keep assisted living, nursing homes and other long-term care industry players strong. To learn more about the economic impact of long-term care facilities, download the full report.

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