After a sharp rebound in May and June, the pace of healthcare’s employment recovery continued to lag in July and August, suggesting it could be a while before the industry fully recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Healthcare added an estimated 75,300 jobs in August, far fewer than the 135,000 added in July, which already marked a dip from June’s rebound, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Friday.
The overall economy added 1.4 million jobs in August, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.4%, from 10.2% in July.
Within healthcare, the ambulatory sector added an estimated 75,000 jobs, compared with about 130,000 in July. Within that, physicians’ offices saw the most gains, adding 26,500 jobs. Dentists’ offices added 21,600, and home health services added 11,600. Offices of other health practitioners added 10,600. Outpatient care centers made just 2,400 new hires, and medical and diagnostic laboratories added just 300.
Hospitals added an estimated 14,000 jobs in August, fewer than the 27,000 jobs added in July.
Nursing and residential care facilities continued to shed jobs, shrinking by an estimated 13,700 jobs in August. Within that, community care facilities for the elderly lost 7,900 jobs. Nursing homes lost 7,700 jobs. Residential mental health facilities added 3,200 jobs.