This study examines the impact of hospitals on local labor markets in rural and urban counties. We measure the ability of hospitals, particularly in rural communities, to attract non-health related employment and provide higher wage jobs to residents based on their education level. Results find hospital employees with an associate’s degree can expect a 21.4% wage premium, when compared to alternative opportunities, and those with a bachelor’s degree can earn 12.2% more working in a hospital. Hospitals are shown to be positively related to overall employment as well as exhibit positive employment spill-over. For rural counties, a short-term general hospital is associated with 599 jobs in the county; 60 of which are hospital based and 499 are non-healthcare related. With the positive benefits on wages and non-healthcare job growth, hospitals have measurable positive labor market outcomes above their primary objective of providing health care access, particularly in rural counties.


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