Healthcare employment rebounds to pre-pandemic levels

Contrary to widespread reports of staffing shortages, healthcare employment reached pre-pandemic levels with the addition of 44,200 jobs in February, according to a recent report from Altarum. 

A recent survey of hospital CEOs found that healthcare staffing was their top concern. Nurses nationwide have reported unsafe staffing levels, leading health systems to restructure and lawmakers to consider safe-staffing laws. 

Yet, healthcare currently has 1.3 percent more jobs than it did in February 2020, according to the monthly Health Sector Economic Indicators brief from Altarum. The nonprofit, healthcare-focused research and consulting organization analyzes available data on spending, prices, employment and utilization to craft the monthly report. 

The data holds that this isn't a new occurence. The sector has been adding — on average — 49,100 jobs per month for the past year, according to the brief. In February, hospitals led that growth, tapping 19,400 workers. Nursing and residential care facilities added 13,700 jobs, and ambulatory care settings added 11,100. 

However, as healthcare employment rises, its wage growth continues to decline and now lags behind economywide growth. Healthcare wage growth has been declining since mid-2022; in January, pay grew 4.2 percent year over year, while total private sector wage growth grew 4.4 percent. 

This statistic also defies industry narratives, as recent labor negotiations between unions and health systems have scored big raises for workers and clinicians. 

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars