Healthcare jobs grew by 75K in August as industry recovers from job losses due to COVID-19

A health provider meets with a senior woman
Employment in nursing homes continued to decline in August, as the industry shed 14,000 positions. (Image: Getty/FG Trade)

The healthcare industry added 75,000 jobs last month, a decline compared with the 126,000 that were added in July, the latest federal jobs report shows.

But there are some bright spots for the industry that is still recovering from major unemployment earlier this year sparked by job losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ jobs report released Friday showed that hospitals continue to add more jobs after several major subsystems furloughed and laid off workers at the onset of the pandemic in March.

Hospitals added 14,000 jobs in August, which was below the 27,000 jobs the industry added in July.

The industry shed 26,000 jobs in May as hospitals took massive revenue hits from the cancellation of elective procedures and lower patient volume due to COVID-19.

Job numbers continue to recover robustly for other sectors of the healthcare industry.

Physician offices added 27,000 jobs and dentists another 22,000 in August. Home healthcare agencies added 12,000 positions in August.

But things continue to get worse for nursing homes.

Nursing homes and residential care facilities lost 14,000 jobs. But it was the lowest number of job losses the industry has faced in months.

In July the sector lost 28,000 jobs. In June, 20,000 positions were shed.

While several parts of the healthcare industry are adding jobs, the overall picture has been bleak. The federal government reported last month that healthcare employment has been down by nearly 800,000 jobs since February.

Things could continue to get worse for both hospitals and physician offices. Experts predict that hospital volumes, which have rebounded since major drops in March and April, are still below pre-pandemic levels for some facilities.

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