Healthcare layoffs in 14 numbers

Financial headwinds continue to blow through the healthcare industry, forcing hospitals and health systems to cut costs — and in some cases, jobs. 

Here are 14 numbers that illustrate healthcare's layoff situation: 

  • Healthcare/products companies and manufacturers, including hospitals, announced 4,182 job cuts in January, according to the most recent report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That's a 421% increase from the previous month.

  • But overall, 2024 appears to be off to a better start than 2023: the healthcare industry announced 2,551 fewer job cuts in January 2024 than in January 2023.

  • At least 12 hospitals and health systems have laid off workers since Jan. 1. Most recently, Medford, Ore.-based Asante laid off about 3% of its workforce to offset "financial headwinds."

  • The majority of laid-off workers are in non-patient-facing administrative or support roles, but at least two health systems have cut executive jobs. Oakdale, Calif.-based Oak Valley Hospital District is laying off 28 employees, including those in senior management and supervisor positions; Chicago-based Rush University System for Health laid off an undisclosed number of employees in administrative and leadership positions, also citing financial headwinds.

  • IT workers are also on the chopping block this year. At least four health systems have recently shed tech employees. Joyce Oh, CIO of Tampa, Fla.-based Moffitt Cancer Center, told Becker's the cuts reflect a pressure on health systems to "do more with less"; plus, they indicate that "IT is still largely considered a cost center."

  • Healthcare layoffs extend beyond hospitals and health systems, affecting disruptors like Amazon. The company has eliminated a few hundred roles at OneMedical and in its online pharmacy unit Amazon Pharmacy. It's not entirely surprising, health system executives told Becker's — more than 33,000 tech employees have been laid off so far in 2024. 

  • Layoffs have become more public, as some employees post videos or memos related to the process on social media. To avoid backlash, employers are zeroing in on the "right way" to handle layoffs, by, for example, ensuring an employee can speak with their manager about the job cuts and giving them more paid time to plan their next move. The "layoffs logistics" startup Onwards HR has seen its customer base grow 300% in the last year. 

  • Regardless of companies' efforts to soften the blow, publicized mass layoffs have taken a toll on employees. A recent Glassdoor index found that the share of employees reporting a positive six-month business outlook for their employers has hit a new low. Employees' confidence in their employers fell to 45.6% in January, down from 47.5% in December 2023. Within education and health services, employee confidence has fallen 1.4 percentage points month over month, or 6.4 percentage points year over year. 

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