It seems strange that the healthcare industry would shed jobs in the midst of a healthcare crisis. Yet that is exactly what happened in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully, the industry is starting to recover some of those lost jobs. June 2020 numbers are very positive compared to those in the previous three months.
Becker’s Hospital Review reports that healthcare added some 358,000 jobs in June. May saw the addition of 312,000 jobs while roughly 1.4 million were lost the month before. Most importantly, hospitals saw their first modest gain since March.
Dental offices did very well in June with 190,000 jobs added. Physician’s offices gained 80,000 while other types of offices added 48,000 jobs of their own. So overall, it appears as though healthcare delivery is starting to look more like it did prior to the onset of coronavirus – at least in terms of volume.
An Industry Ripe for Recovery
Shedding healthcare jobs seemed odd in the midst of pandemic experts warning us that hospitals and clinics would be overflowing with patients. Even in the midst of cutting elective procedures and most unnecessary ambulatory services, healthcare workers should have been retained to care for all the sick coronavirus patients that were said to be on the way.
Those patients never materialized and jobs were shed. Now hospitals and medical offices are returned to the business of providing elective and non-critical care, thus bringing the jobs back. If there is one thing we can say for sure, it is that healthcare is an industry ripe for recovery.
Hospitality, entertainment, and sports may suffer the effects of the pandemic for years to come. All of those industries offer consumers products and services that are not necessary to sustain life and health. The same is not true for healthcare. Healthcare is a basic need of every human being. As such, the sector is likely to recover very quickly.
Still Plenty of Shortages
The one thing the pandemic has not done is wipe out the ongoing shortages of skilled medical workers. Yes, doctors and nurses may have been furloughed or laid off at the height of the pandemic. But being out of work will only be temporary for them. As the industry recovers, their jobs will come back.
The return of elective procedures and noncritical ambulatory services will eventually strain the system again. At full capacity, it will become quite apparent just how many skilled medical workers are still needed. Healthcare jobs boards like Health Jobs Nationwide will again post thousands of opportunities for doctors, nurses, technicians, and all sorts of allied personnel.
Nursing Homes May Be the Exception
Becker’s Hospital Review also reports that nursing and residential care facilities continued to shed jobs in June. The sector lost some 18,300 jobs last month following losses of about 36,600 in April. Nursing homes losing jobs while the rest of the industry is adding signals that there may be something afoot.
It could be that fallout from the pandemic will lead to lower demand for nursing home care. It could be that people are less willing to utilize nursing homes, preferring to care for their loved ones at home. Should that be the case, those healthcare workers who once worked in the nursing home sector could find themselves transitioning to hospitals, clinics, etc.
It would appear as though the healthcare sector is starting to recover. As people return for elective procedures and noncritical ambulatory care, healthcare workers are returning to their previous positions. At least that’s some positive news in the midst of the ongoing health crisis.