Although not necessarily attributable to the Affordable Care Act, an aging population, or any single factor, it is remarkable how much job growth has occurred in health services since the Great Recession. It is especially remarkable relative to other jobs. Also, changes in employment in health services are not cyclical: They are recession-proof, but they still kept climbing when the economy started to recover. A job in health services seems to have one-sided risk: You don’t go down when other jobs do, but you go up even faster when other jobs increase, too.

Nonfarm civilian employment peaked in January 2008 (at 138.4 million jobs), just before the Great Recession, and bottomed out in February 2010 (at 129.7 million jobs). Jobs were lost in 24 of those 25 months. Nonfarm civilian employment did not cross the January 2008 threshold again until May 2014.