T

he health care industry has been a main driver of employment gains since the Great Recession, with hospitals in particular fueling job creation around the country.

The jobs have been a boon to communities, and the competition is so fierce to fill open spots that hospitals have had to get creative. But there’s a risk, too: If the country ever actually tries to control health care costs, it won’t be able to support as many jobs in the industry.

The list below identifies the 10 biggest percentage gains in the number of hospital employees among the country’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, from July 2007 to July 2017. It relies on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Data from every metropolitan area was not available.)

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Many of the biggest jumps came in mid-size metropolitan areas, but even places like Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas saw an increase of about a third in the number of people working in hospitals.

78 percent: New Orleans

Part of the bump in New Orleans could be explained by the fact that the city’s population was still rebounding in 2007 after Hurricane Katrina. But still, in July 2007, 14,400 people worked in hospitals in the metro area, compared to 25,700 in July 2017.

72 percent: Boise, Idaho

July 2007: 9,600 employees

July 2017: 16,500 employees

51 percent: Austin, Texas

July 2007: 16,800 employees

July 2017: 25,300 employees

51 percent: Columbus, Ohio

July 2007: 23,500 employees

July 2017: 35,600 employees

49 percent: Bakersfield, Calif.

July 2007: 5,500 employees

July 2017: 8,200 employees

47 percent: Grand Rapids, Mich.

July 2007: 20,300 employees

July 2017: 29,900 employees

44 percent: Las Vegas

July 2007: 14,400 employees

July 2017: 20,800 employees

42 percent: North Port/Sarasota/Bradenton, Fla.

July 2007: 9,100 employees

July 2017: 12,900 employees

37 percent: San Jose, Calif.

July 2007: 20,600 employees

July 2017: 28,200 employees

37 percent: Denver

July 2007: 25,400 employees

July 2017: 34,700 employees

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