- The healthcare industry added about 20,000 jobs in August, down from the 39,000 jobs it added in July, according to recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data.
- Hospitals contributed about 6,000 jobs to this growth last month, down from 7,000 in July.
- Healthcare hiring continues an upward trend, with about 328,000 jobs added so far this year.
The BLS jobs report comes on the back of a brutal Q2 for many providers, which showed softening admissions across the board for most for-profit providers such as Tenet, HCA and Community Health Systems. While healthcare jobs, particularly healthcare practitioners and healthcare support positions, are projected to be among the fastest growing jobs through 2024, the hospital industry is currently experiencing a shake-up as it deals with the new normal of patients seeking fewer outpatient services in hospitals.
The August report comes after an unexpectedly strong growth in hospital hiring in June and July. Before the summer, hospital hiring had been experiencing a trend of slowed growth. The recent surge, Ani Turner, co-director of Altarum Institute's Center for Sustainable Health Spending, recently told Healthcare Dive, was "somewhat unexpected...One would think hospitals would be conservative in their hiring. Everything I'm seeing is flat or slightly declining volumes, especially on inpatient side."
Hiring in August is historically slow, so time will tell if hospitals are acting conservatively in hiring trends or the August report is part of the natural give-and-take in hiring processes. However, the jobs report overall was disappointing, Modern Healthcare noted, stating analysts expected about 180,000 jobs to be added to to the economy. Only about 156,000 jobs were added in August.