This Business Week article explains that the health care industry is "What's Really Propping Up The Economy."
"If you really want to understand what makes the U.S. economy tick these days, don't go to Silicon Valley, Wall Street, or Washington. Just take a short trip to your local hospital. . . Without it the nation's labor market would be in a deep coma. Since 2001, 1.7 million new jobs have been added in the health-care sector, which includes related industries such as pharmaceuticals and health insurance. Meanwhile, the number of private-sector jobs outside of health care is no higher than it was five years ago."