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COLUMBIA - A recent MU study shows hospitals are helping boost Missouri's economy. Throughout the recession, while other jobs have been decreasing in positions and wages, the healthcare industry has been growing steadily and affecting other industries in the process.  "People are going to need healthcare and they're going to need more of it," said lead researcher of the study, Thomas Johnson. 

More healthcare jobs help create other jobs, like construction for hospital maintenance.  The study shows that hospitals have created more than 140,000 jobs for Missourians statewide and that's not just accounting for the bigger cities, hospitals are typically the largest employer in smaller communities.  "In rural communities, even more importantly, they are often the highest paying sector in terms of wages, because they have to pay competitively," said Mary Becker, Vice President of Communications of the Missouri Hospital Association.

The study examined 10 different regions statewide.  Since Kansas City and St. Louis are more heavily populated, they have more hospitals, creating most of the jobs in Missouri.  But, Johnson says the mid-Missouri region has a very high concentration of hospitals in comparison to it's population size.

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