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Healthcare Sector Drops 5K Jobs in August

Analysis  |  By John Commins  
   September 03, 2021

Hospitals gained 3,200 jobs in August, a significant slowdown from the 18,000 new jobs created in July. 

The healthcare sector shed 4,900 jobs in August, with slight gains by hospitals more than offset by job losses in ambulatory care and nursing homes, preliminary federal data released Friday show.

While the 3,200 jobs created by hospitals in August marks the second straight month of job growth, the pace of growth is a fraction of the 18,000 hospital payroll additions in July. And those slight gains were negated 1,200 job losses in ambulatory care – normally the job-producing engine of the healthcare sector -- and 6,900 job losses in residential care and nursing homes, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

The BLS report accounts for employment in mid-August and can be subject to considerable revision.

The healthcare sector has shed 513,400 jobs since the start of the pandemic in February 2020, with hospitals accounting for 84,800 job losses, and nursing homes accounting for 383,200 job losses. Ambulatory services sector lost 45,300 jobs in that span.

There were 15.9 million people attached to the healthcare sector workforce in August, BLS said.

The larger economy created 235,000 new jobs in August, down from the 943,000 new jobs created in July, the unemployment rate ticked down to 5.2% from 5.4% in July, and the number of unemployed people fell to 8.4 million, BLS reported.

Nonfarm payroll employment is up by 17 million since April 2020 but down by 5.3 million, or 3.5%, from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.

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


Ambulatory services, normally a job growth engine, dropped 1,200 jobs.

Since February 2020, hospitals, ambulatory services, and nursing homes have lost 84,800 jobs, 45,300 jobs, and 383,200 job, respectively.

There were 15.9 million people attached to the healthcare sector workforce in August.

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