Healthcare has lost half a million workers since 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. has seen healthcare workers leave their jobs, and the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed another decline.

The report showed healthcare saw a loss of 17,500 jobs in September, after losing 4,900 jobs in August. Within healthcare, hospitals lost 8,100 jobs in September, while nursing and residential care facilities lost 37,600 jobs last month. Ambulatory healthcare services gained 28,200 jobs.

Overall, employment in healthcare is down by 524,000 since February 2020, with nursing and residential care facilities representing about four-fifths of the losses, the bureau said. 

Reasons for the decline include workers quitting.

Since mid-February 2020, nearly 1 in 5 healthcare workers, or 18 percent, have quit their jobs, according to poll results from Morning Consult, a global privately held data intelligence company.

The poll, conducted in September among 1,000 U.S. healthcare workers, also found that 12 percent of workers have been laid off or lost a job, while 19 percent of those who kept them have considered leaving their job and the healthcare industry during the pandemic. Twelve percent of those who kept their jobs have considered leaving their job for another healthcare role, according to the poll.

Additionally, some workers have been fired or resigned over vaccination mandates.

The worker departures come as hospitals across the country are looking to fill staffing gaps. 

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