Healthcare jobs still down from February

September 8, 2020

The most recent jobs report shows an increase in healthcare jobs, but the numbers are still down.

The healthcare industry in the U.S. added 75,000 jobs in August but is still down from February before the beginning of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

According to an employment summary produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there was more than 27,000 new jobs added in physicians’ offices, more than 22,000 in dentists’ offices, more than 14,000 in hospitals, and more than 12,000 in home healthcare services.

Meanwhile, nursing homes and residential care facilities saw a loss in jobs of about 14,000, the summary says.

Between education and healthcare, which are lumped together in the analysis, there was an increase of 147,000 jobs, but both industries are still down 1.5 million jobs from February before the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

These numbers are a boon to the industry, which saw massive issues caused by the pandemic such as personal protective equipment shortages, mandates limiting nonessential medical procedures, stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders, and a general fear of infection among patients.

In weekly surveys performed by the Larry A. Greene Center and the Primary Care Collaborative, physicians expressed great fear for the future of their practices. In April, 47 percent of respondents said they were unsure if they would have enough cash to stay open and 85 percent said they had seen a dramatic decrease in patient volume during the pandemic.

In late-August, 89 percent of respondents said they were confident in the ability of their practice to stay open for the next four weeks, while 44 percent said they were receiving financial support through federal programs.

While the monetary situation seems to be improving, physicians are still feeling the stress of the pandemic with 56 percent of respondents in the late-August survey saying their level of strain are at a four or a five on a five-point scale.