What are the Recent Trends in Health Sector Employment

This updated chart collection takes a deep dive into employment data to analyze how jobs and wages in the health sector have changed since the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike past recessions, health sector employment saw a big drop in early 2020 but has rebounded since. As of October 2023, the health sector added 58,400 jobs over the previous month. Jobs in the health sector are 3.9% higher than in February 2020 (the previous peak), compared to 2.9% in all other sectors.

Still, not all health sector employment trends have recovered. While hospitals and physicians’ offices have returned to pre-pandemic employment levels, industries such as elderly care and skilled nursing care facilities continue to see relatively low employment. Elderly care facilities had 976,500 employees nationwide in February 2020, but only 964,000 in October of 2023 — a -1.3% decrease. Skilled nursing care facilities have seen an even more dramatic employment drop of -9.7% since February of 2020.

The chart collection is available on the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, an online information hub dedicated to monitoring and assessing the performance of the U.S. health system

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