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Analysis

As COVID-19 Rages, Healthcare Sector Sheds 43k Jobs in March

By John Commins  
   April 03, 2020

Dentist and physician practices bore the brunt of downturn, reporting a combined 30,000 job losses.

New data released Friday shows that the COVID-19 response has led to massive layoffs in the healthcare sector, as hospitals and other care venues pare back elective and non-emergency services and focus resources to cope with the pandemic.

The healthcare sector, for decades a job-creating machine in the U.S. economy, lost 42,000 jobs in March, according to unemployment figures released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Among the casualties, ambulatory services lost 33,300 jobs, including 17,000 jobs losses in dentist offices, 12,000 jobs losses physician offices, and 7,000 losses in other care venues.  

The nation's hospitals, which created on average 8,500 jobs per month in 2019, created 200 jobs in March.

For decades, the nation's healthcare sector has been a job-creating powerhouse. In 2019, nearly one-in-five jobs created in was in healthcare, and 374,000 jobs for the year – about 33,000 jobs each month –which greatly outpaced nearly every other major sector of the economy, BLS data show.

The 2019 figures include 269,000 new jobs in ambulatory services, up from 219,000 jobs in 2018, and 102,000 new hospital jobs, down from 107,000 new jobs in 2018.

The March employment numbers are considered "preliminary" and could be revised.

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


KEY TAKEAWAYS

The COVID-19 response has led to massive layoffs in the healthcare sector, as hospitals and other care venues pare back services to cope with the pandemic.

The nation's hospitals, which created on average 8,500 jobs per month in 2019, created 200 jobs in March.

In the past 12 months, the healthcare sector had created 374,000 jobs, averaging about 33,000 jobs per month.


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