Blog | Healthcare Business Trends

Hospital job losses continued in February and were greater in January than previously reported

Blog | Healthcare Business Trends

Hospital job losses continued in February and were greater in January than previously reported

Hospitals lost positions in February, but the biggest news in the latest batch of jobs data was a negative adjustment to January numbers.

In data released March 5, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that hospitals lost 37,500 jobs in January. Preliminary figures released in early February had put the number at 2,100. The revised numbers represent the biggest monthly jobs loss for hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For February, preliminary data shows hospitals losing 2,200 jobs.

Jobs in the healthcare industry overall bounced back in February, increasing by 19,900 after declining by 85,000 in January. The ambulatory services sector led the way with 28,900 new jobs, including 8,700 in physician offices and 5,700 in home healthcare services.

Nursing care facilities experienced the greatest jobs reduction among the different sectors of the healthcare industry in February, losing 11,600 positions.

Looking back at the year in healthcare employment

Mid-March of 2020 was when pandemic-related restrictions began to impact all segments of society, including hospitals, which quickly experienced volume reductions and mandatory freezes in elective procedures. Employment steadily increased during the second half of 2020 before dropping off in January and February.

Compared with February 2020 numbers, job losses for the healthcare industry totaled 577,600 through February 2021. In specific segments, losses amounted to:

  • 102,400 for hospitals
  • 165,100 for ambulatory services, including almost 57,000 in physician offices
  • 182,400 for nursing homes

About the Author

Nick Hut

is a senior editor with HFMA, Westchester, Ill. (nhut@hfma.org).

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