Hospital employment still lagging — 4 proposed explanations

While employment in ambulatory healthcare services has essentially climbed back to levels seen prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, hospital employment has waned, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data cited by Advisory Board

Hospitals gained 1,100 jobs in October, compared to 8,100 jobs lost in September. Still, employment in hospitals has consistently stayed around 2 percent below pre-pandemic levels, according to the bureau.

In a daily briefing published Nov. 23, Advisory Board experts outline four hypotheses for this trend, which are mainly speculative. They are:

1. Clinicians and clinical staff members are increasingly choosing to work in ambulatory settings, where they may have a less demanding and more consistent schedule.

2. The current nursing shortage exacerbated by the pandemic is hindering hospital employment growth.

3. Ambulatory settings are seeing more patients return for care delayed during the pandemic compared to hospitals.

4. From a consumer standpoint, more patients are seeking care outside hospital settings.

Read the full daily brief here.  

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