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Hospitals see an increase in jobs for first time in two months, BLS reports

Hospitals gained 6,700 jobs last month, following losses of 27,000 in May.

Mallory Hackett, Associate Editor

Despite hospitals reporting layoffs and furloughs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, health systems increased employment by 6,700 in June, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Healthcare employment continued to increase in June across all sectors except for nursing care facilities, according to the employment report

Total healthcare employment increased by 358,000 over the previous month with specific increases in dental offices, physician offices, other health practitioner offices and hospitals by 190,000; 80,000; 48,000 and 6,700 respectively.

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Nursing care facilities continued to experience job losses in June with a decrease of 18,000 jobs.

WHY THIS MATTERS

In the previous report, the healthcare industry saw similar numbers with an addition of 312,000 jobs.

However, both hospitals and nursing care facilities saw job losses of 27,000 and 37,000 respectively.

The increase in hospital jobs is a positive change from last month. With many elective surgeries canceled or postponed at the start of the pandemic, many hospitals were forced to furlough or lay-off staff.

Despite the turnaround in jobs last month, hospitals are still facing financial hardships related to COVID-19. Trinity Heath said it anticipated $2 billion in losses and further layoffs as COVID-19 continues.

The increase of jobs in the healthcare industry is attributed to the "continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it," the report said.

THE LARGER TREND

The total nonfarm payroll employment went up by 4.8 million last month. It brought the national unemployment rate to 11.1%, which is a decrease of 2.2% from May.

Other notable industry increases from last month were in leisure and hospitality, which increased by 2.1 million and accounted for about two-fifths of the gain in total nonfarm employment.

Despite the increases in jobs, the unemployment rate is still up by 7.6% since February.

Twitter: @HackettMallory
Email the writer: mhackett@himss.org