)would be in the health-care sector, as would the American Heart Assn. and the hospital system run by the Veterans Affairs Dept.
Using this definition, the health-care sector represents 12% of the total workforce today. Hospitals alone, private and public, employ 5.7 million workers -- over 4% of the total workforce.
Our analysis used 12-month averages to smooth out statistical blips, a big issue at the state level. The end date, July, 2006, is the latest month for which job figures for all industries are available. The baseline date, July, 2001, is exactly five years earlier, thereby avoiding problems with seasonal variation.
That date also has the virtue of being very close to the month -- June, 2001 -- when 12-month average employment hit its high for the boom. That means employment in today's reasonably good labor market is being compared with employment at the previous peak, which is the right way to do the calculations.