- The healthcare industry added 60,000 jobs in September and has now fully recovered all the jobs lost early in the pandemic, according to preliminary data out Friday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Ambulatory healthcare services and hospitals each added 28,000 jobs during the month, according to BLS.
- Other job gains came from offices of physicians and home healthcare services.
Healthcare jobs have finally returned to levels seen in February 2020, right before the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S.
Stay-at-home orders and other restrictions in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic led to widespread furloughs and layoffs across all industries, including healthcare. In April 2020, the industry lost 1.4 million jobs.
Now healthcare organizations are grappling with worker shortages driven by the pandemic and burnout and attempting to staff up accordingly.
In September the industry added 60,000 jobs, about the same as it added in August.
Over the past two years as the industry recovered from major job losses, certain occupations fared better than others. Ambulatory service jobs have seen the most consistent gains through the pandemic, while nursing homes saw additional job losses but are now seeing gains.
Hospitals saw the second-biggest job gains since the pandemic started, adding 27,000 jobs, according to Matt Wolf, director and healthcare senior analyst at consulting firm RSM. In December 2020, they added about 37,700 jobs.
But the labor force participation rate and unemployment rate also declined across the board in September, “which suggests fewer people available to hire in the future,” Wolf said in an email statement.
“Health care providers will not be able to hire their way out of this challenging labor market,” Wolf said.