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Report: NJ's doctors pumped $55.4B in state economy in 2016

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AMA President Dr. David Barbe.
AMA President Dr. David Barbe.

Doctors are not only good for the health of state residents, they also boost the state's economic health as well, according to a recent study by the Medical Society of New Jersey and the American Medical Association.

The state’s 22,697 active doctors generate $55.4 billion in economic activity and create 281,923 jobs – roughly 12.4 jobs per physician – according to the report, The Economic Impact of Physicians in New Jersey. That $55.4 billion represents 9.8 percent of the state’s GDP.

By comparison, the logistics industry, including warehousing and distribution, contributed $58.4 billion into the state’s economy in 2016, according to Choose New Jersey. Life sciences companies contributed $47.5 billion, and financial services $31 billion.

Nationally, physicians add some $2.3 trillion to the economy and support more than 12.6 million jobs. They also contribute $1 trillion in total wages and benefits paid to US workers, and $92.9 billion in state and local tax revenue.

According to the AMA data, 42.8 percent of doctors in the state belong to a single specialty group practice, 24.6 percent practiced in multispecialty groups, 16.5 percent were in solo practice and 7.4 percent were direct hospital employees. The remainder are involved in teaching or research. Of all the active doctors in the state, 32.8 percent are practicing with at least some hospital ownership. That number has not changed between 2014 and 2016.

The full study can be viewed here.

The report found that every dollar applied to doctor services in New Jersey supports an additional $2.02 in other business activity. An additional 6.3 jobs, above and beyond the clinical and administrative personnel that work inside the physician practices, are supported for each $1 million of revenue generated by a physician’s practice. 

Other key findings:

  • Physicians support 281,923 jobs in New Jersey – 12.4 for each physician on average.
  • Physicians generate $55.4 billion in economic output, comprising 9.8 percent of the New Jersey economy. Each physician generates $2.4 million for the state economy on average.
  • Physicians contribute $30.9 billion in total wages and benefits paid to workers across New Jersey, empowering a high-quality, sustainable workforce. Each physician contributes $1.4 million to workers’ wages and benefits on average.
  • Physicians’ contribution to the New Jersey economy generates $2.7 billion in state and local tax revenue for their communities – translating to $116,922 for each physician on average – enabling community investments to be made.

“The positive impact of physicians extends beyond safeguarding the health and welfare of their patients,” said AMA President Dr. David Barbe. “The Economic Impact Study illustrates that physicians are woven into their local communities and have a vital role in fueling state economies by creating jobs, purchasing goods and services, and supporting public services through the tax revenue they generate.”

A study released last month by the New Jersey Hospital Association also underlined the importance of the state’s health care industry. That study examined the impact of the state’s hospitals and health systems – as opposed to individual doctors – in 2016. It found that New Jersey's hospitals and health systems pumped $23.4 billion in to the state's economy in 2016 according to the New Jersey Hospital Association's 2017 Hospitals Economic Impact Report, up from $22.7 billion in 2015, making it one of the top five largest industries in the state.

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Vince Calio

Vince Calio

Vince Calio covers health care and manufacturing for NJBIZ. You can contact him at vcalio@njbiz.com.

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