- Steady job growth in the healthcare industry seen last year is expected to continue this year as pandemic-driven staffing shortages ease, according to a report released last week from nonprofit Altarum.
- Employment in ambulatory services is now well above pre-pandemic levels, while hospital employment is just slightly above pre-pandemic levels, according to the report.
- However, wage growth has been declining in the sector compared to others, with healthcare wages growing 4.2% year over year in January, while total private sector wages grew by 4.4%.
The healthcare industry suffered massive job losses at the start of the pandemic and has grappled with ongoing staffing shortages since.
But certain parts of the industry have recouped all lost jobs — and even added some — in areas like ambulatory care, which has seen the most job growth as patients, providers and payers shift their preferences toward non-hospital based care.
Ambulatory services now employ 440,000 more people than they did three years ago, reflecting 5.6% job growth, according to Altarum’s report.
Hospitals now employ 42,000 more people than three years ago, notching 0.8% growth.
Nursing and residential care facilities suffered the worst job losses when the public health crisis began, as those facilities with older, higher-risk residents became hot spots for COVID-19 infections.
The nursing and residential care sector still hasn’t recouped about 270,000 jobs since around the time the pandemic started, according to the report.
Nursing homes jobs have seen gains in recent months though, and added 14,000 jobs in February, according to data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
Job growth across the industry has slowly picked up since the pandemic began.
In 2021, the sector added about 9,000 jobs on average each month, according to data from the BLS. In 2022, the sector added about 49,000 jobs each month.
Over the past six months, the sector has added 54,000 jobs on average, according to the BLS.