Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Hospitals and Credit Cards Rule Area's Top Employers

Obamacare seems a plus for health jobs

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2015 at 11:43 AM

Credit cards, health and a big box store. It’s enough to give you pause.

Yes, the Richmond Times-Dispatch has come up with an annual ranking of the Richmond area’s top employers. Leading the list is Capital One Financial Corp., followed by VCU Health System, HCA, Inc., Bon Secours Richmond and Walmart.

All together, they employ 40,248 in the area.

What I find of interest in the TD’s list is that you have to run down to No. 9, Altria with 3,900 workers, before you get to a real manufacturer. Everything before it is a service, including Dominion.

DuPont, which makes all kinds of chemical products in Richmond, including ubiquitous and bullet-resistant Kevlar, is No. 12.

True, Richmond has always been a service-oriented town. Located right at the fall line of the James River, it has already had a healthy share of bankers, lawyers, doctors and accountants who help run things.

And, for the longest time, Richmond was always a manufacturing town with the Tredegar Iron Works and various chemical and milling plants, not to mention cigarette factories.

Why so many health jobs? The TD quotes Tom Arnold, a University of Richmond finance professor as saying that the uptick in jobs at the hospital firms can be directly correlated to the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.

The controversial health insurance law – it is under court challenge – has actually generated jobs. But once again, it’s tied to government spending as so many jobs in Virginia area.

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