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Analysis

Healthcare Sector Claws Back 312K Jobs in May

By John Commins  
   June 05, 2020

However, hospitals posted 27,000 job losses for the month.

After suffering record job losses in April owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the healthcare sector saw 312,000 new jobs created in May as the nation attempts to reopen.

The bulk of the job gains were in dentists' offices (245,000), other healthcare practitioners (73,000) and physicians' offices (51,000), according to the May employment report issued Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"These improvements in the labor market reflected a limited resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it," BLS said.

However, the bleeding continues for the hospital sector, with 27,000 job losses reported in May, while nursing homes reported 37,000 job losses.

May was the second straight month of negative job growth in the hospital sector, which lost 127,000 jobs in April, BLS data show.

The healthcare sector shed a record 1.4 million jobs in April, as hospitals and outpatient care venues shuttered money-making elective services and slashed payrolls to stem the red ink.

Most of the jobs losses have been in ambulatory services, which lost about 950,000 jobs since February.

Overall, the healthcare sector accounted for 15.2 million jobs at the end of May, down from 16.5 million jobs in February.  

In the larger economy, BLS reported that total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 2.5 million in May, and the unemployment rate declined to 13.3%, with sharp increases in leisure and hospitality, construction, education and health services, and retail trade.

BLS data for May and April is prelimiary and subject to revision.

John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

The bulk of the job gains were in dentists' offices (245,000), other healthcare practitioners (73,000) and physicians' offices (51,000).

May was the second straight month of negative job growth in the hospital sector, which lost 127,000 jobs in April.

The healthcare sector shed a record 1.4 million jobs in April, as hospitals and outpatient care venues shuttered money-making elective services and slashed payrolls to stem the red ink.

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