This analysis is based on KFF analysis of the 2019 American Community Survey (ACS), 1-year file. The ACS includes a 1% sample of the US population, the subset used here includes over 170,000 observations. The health care industry is defined as industry codes 7970 through 8290, and does not include the childcare or vocational training industries. For more information see here.

Industry Classification
Industry Code Title Classification
7970 Offices of physicians Offices of physicians
7980 Offices of dentists Other Outpatient
7990 Offices of chiropractors Other Outpatient
8070 Offices of optometrists Other Outpatient
8080 Offices of other health practitioners Other Outpatient
8090 Outpatient care centers Outpatient care centers
8170 Home health care services Home health care services
8180 Other health care services Home health care services
8191 Hospital General or MH Hospital
8192 Psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals General or MH Hospital
8270 Skilled nursing facilities SNF & Care Facility
8290 Residential care facilities SNF & Care Facility

We define the healthcare workforce as all individuals who earned at least $1,000 during the year and indicated that their job was in one of the industry codes listed above. Within these industry groups, we grouped people’s occupations into five different categories based on type of work and level of contact with patients:

  • Aides and personal care workers includes certified nursing assistants (CNAs), personal care aides, home health aides, licensed practical nurses (LPNs), OT and PT assistants, medical assistants, and other aides.
  • Direct contact support workers includes non-clinical support staff, such as housekeeping and janitorial staff, kitchen and cafeteria staff, recreation workers, laundry workers, security guards, shuttle drivers, clergy, and first-line supervisors of support workers.
  • Health care providers includes registered nurses (RNs), physicians, dental assistants, physician therapists, occupational therapists, nurse practitioners, dentist, radiologist, phlebotomists, and various types of technicians that provide direct patient care.
  • Other support workers and managers includes office and administrative managers and staff, receptionists, nutritionists, laboratory technicians, office clerks, billing clerks, medical records specialist, human resources, groundskeeping and facilities workers, who are likely to come into regular direct contact with patients less often than other types of health care workers.
  • Social Workers and Behavioral health workers includes health professions such as Social workers, Mental health counselors and substance abuse counselors

Note, that this analysis only includes those in the healthcare industry, therefore healthcare professionals working in other care settings, such as school nurses are not included.

Issue Brief

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