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Healthcare Shed 30K Jobs in January

Analysis  |  By John Commins  
   February 05, 2021

Healthcare, once a job-creating dynamo in the U.S. economy, has shed 542,000 jobs since February 2020.

The healthcare sector lost nearly 30,000 jobs in January, continuing a year-long trend for an industry that has seen 542,000 job losses since February 2020, new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show.

Ambulatory services saw an increase of 3,500 jobs for the month, but those gains were more than offset by 2,100 job losses in hospitals, 19,000 jobs losses in nursing homes, 13,000 in home healthcare services, and 7,000 job losses in communicate care facilities.  

The healthcare sector for years has been a job-creating engine for the U.S. economy. But job growth in the sector collapsed in the spring of 2020 with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which forced hospitals and other care venues  to shut down elective surgeries and procedures, and leery patients stayed away.

The January job report largely reflects the state of the economy in mid-month and is considered preliminary and subject to considerable revision.

In the overall economy, payroll employment grew by a sluggish 49,000 in January, and the unemployment rate nudged down 0.4 percentage point to 6.3% for the month.

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


Ambulatory services saw an increase of 3,500 jobs for the month.

Those gains were offset by 2,100 job losses in hospitals.

Nursing homes lost 19,000 jobs and home healthcare lost 13,000 jobs.

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