Number of Health Care Jobs Still Down From End of 2020

Oncology Nursing NewsAugust 2021
Volume 15
Issue 4

Small employment increases in March and February didn’t replenish the more than 80,000 jobs lost in January.

The US health care industry is still down tens of thousands of jobs from the end of 2020.

According to a new study by Altarum, a nonprofit research and consulting organization dedicated to improving health outcomes of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, the 11,500 jobs added in March and the 25,000 added in February still left a 44,000 job deficit after a loss of more than 80,000 jobs in January. Compared with the pre-pandemic peak in February 2020, health care employment is down 557,000 jobs, or 3.1%.

Figure representing 3.1% or 557,000 jobs

Ambulatory settings are seeing a better trend with 15,300 jobs added in March and a net 31,000 jobs in the first quarter of 2021. Physician offices saw a modest increase of 2,900 jobs over the past month and a 1.8% drop in employment, or approximately 54,200 jobs, since the pre-pandemic peak in February 2020, according to the study.

Hospitals had a small drop in employment in March, with 600 jobs lost, and in February, with 1,900 lost jobs, for a total loss of 37,000 jobs at the end of the first quarter of 2021 from the end of 2020. Overall, hospital employment is down approximately 100,000 jobs, or 1.8%, from February 2020, the study results show.

The 44,000 jobs lost in health care during the first quarter of 2021 constitute a loss of one-third of 1% of the 15.9 million health care jobs.


Turner A, Rhyan C, Miller G, et al. End of first quarter 2021 health employment down 44,000 from end of 2020, Altarum. April 16, 2021. Accessed June 22, 2021.

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