- The healthcare sector added 58,000 jobs in January, according to preliminary data out Friday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Ambulatory healthcare services led the gains adding about 30,000 jobs, followed by nursing and residential care facilities which added 17,000 jobs. Hospitals also added 11,000 jobs.
- The gains are slightly above last year’s average for the sector, which was 47,000 new jobs per month.
The healthcare sector has consistently added jobs throughout this past year as it’s recovered from initial job losses at the start of the pandemic.
While those lost jobs have since recovered, job growth rates have not yet returned to levels expected before the pandemic when employment had been steadily growing, according to a tracker from the Kaiser Family Foundation and Peterson Center on Healthcare.
Overall, the healthcare sector has seen a 3.9% decline in actual versus projected job growth rates based on pre-pandemic levels, according to that tracker.
Nursing homes suffered the worst projected job losses, though the sector has seen gains in recent months, adding the most jobs in January since the public health emergency was first declared. Employment is still below pre-pandemic levels though, Matt Wolf, healthcare senior analyst at professional service firm RSM US, said.
“We're still about a year and a half away from returning to-pre pandemic levels in senior care for employment,” he said.
Ambulatory care services and hospitals have led the sector with consistent gains over the past year.
Ambulatory service jobs rebounded steadily through pandemic
Physician offices and other practitioners also saw gains in January, while dentists office jobs declined by about 3,000, according to BLS data.
The way the BLS adjusts for population growth in January could lead to some big revisions on the latest numbers, as seen in past years, however, Wolf said.