Health care unemployment changes little in March

Sector adds 8,000 jobs, but still down from pre-pandemic levels.

Health care employment changed little in March as overall employment rose and the unemployment rate declined for the month, according to the latest report from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The health care sector added 8,000 jobs last month, but employment in the industry remains down by 298,000 jobs from February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to the March 2022 Employment Situation Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Total nonfarm employment rose by 431,000 jobs in March, resulting in a 0.2% drop to 3.6% unemployment for March.

Overall job growth averaged 562,000 per month in the first quarter of 2022, the same average monthly gain for 2021, according to the preliminary figures.

However, employment is down 1.6 million, or 1%, from the pre-pandemic level in February 2020.

The federal bureau posted notable employment gains in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade and manufacturing, according to the preliminary figures.

Within the health care industry, including ambulatory health care services, hospitals, and nursing and residential care facilities, there were 16.19 million workers, up 8.3% from the month before.

Hospitals posted a month to month increase of 5.1% to more than 5.13 million workers in March. Ambulatory health care services rose to 8.08 million, or 7.2% more than the month before.

Employees in doctors’ offices decreased 1.3% month to month to 2.79 million for March 2022.