Healthcare employment increased by 312,000 in May, but hospitals still lost 27,000 jobs, according to a report issued today from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Job losses continued for hospitals and also for nursing and residential care facilities, which lost 37,000 jobs.
Physicians saw an increase of 51,000 jobs, and dentists and other health practitioners saw increases of 245,000 and 73,000, respectively.
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WHY THIS MATTERS
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the economy and unemployment in record numbers. The uptick in jobs announced today follows a historically high unemployment rate of 14.7% in April, the highest since the Great Depression.
The employment report shows an economy fighting to rebound. The overall unemployment rate declined by 13.3% in May, as 2.5 million jobs were added to the economy.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics attributes this to the recent re-opening of many states' economies.
However the numbers also show that hospitals have yet to recover financially from the surge of COVID-19 patients and the loss of revenue from postponed or cancelled elective procedures. Many were forced to furlough or lay off staff because the billions earmarked for hospitals in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act was not enough for most hospitals to operate at previous expense levels.
THE LARGER TREND
Overall education and health services employment increased in May, adding 424,000 jobs, after suffering a decrease of 2.6 million in April.
Other industries that saw employment increase last month were leisure and hospitality, construction, education, and retail trade. Government employment, on the other hand, continued to decline.
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