Healthcare workers' unemployment rates rose post-pandemic: study

Healthcare workers experienced an uptick in unemployment rates after the pandemic's onset. However, unemployment was far higher in workers outside the healthcare industry during the same period, research shows.

The study, published Sept. 19 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, conducted surveys with 65,000 American households per month regarding employment statuses. A total of 507,985 of respondents were healthcare workers. 

Researchers found that from before the pandemic began (January 2015 to March 2020) to after it began (April 2020 to April 2022), healthcare workers' unemployment rate rose from 2.28 percent to 3.18 percent. By comparison, the unemployment rate for workers outside healthcare rose from 3.82 percent to 6.13 percent. 

Other key findings from the study with respect to healthcare workers: 

  • Physicians did not experience a change in employment rates after the pandemic's onset. 
  • Aside from physicians, nurses experienced the lowest increase in unemployment after the pandemic's onset (0.46 percent).
  • Therapists and technicians experienced the greatest increase in unemployment after the pandemic's onset (1.68 percent). 
  • Hospital workers saw half the unemployment increase that nonhospital workers did.
  • Female healthcare workers saw an unemployment increase 0.2 percent higher than their male counterparts. 

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