Outpatient care gets walloped by COVID-19 in March job losses

April 3, 2020 / TARA BANNOW 

Dentists’ offices, physicians’ offices, home health providers and other outpatient healthcare sectors shouldered the brunt of healthcare’s steep job losses in March as the novel coronavirus ravaged the economy and forced businesses to shed workers.

The healthcare industry shed 42,500 jobs last month. The ambulatory sector, which typically captures most of the industry’s job gains, in March comprised a whopping 96% of the losses, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, released Friday. Hospitals added a modest 200 jobs.

Healthcare had enjoyed years of steady job growth, including an estimated 31,600 jobs in February, 35,000 in January and an eye-popping 50,200 new hires in December 2019.

Healthcare’s decline was a fraction of the month’s total non-farm job losses, which amounted to 701,000 as businesses temporarily—or permanently, in some cases—shut their doors to the public to slow the virus’ spread. In the prior 12 months, employment had grown by an average of 196,000 jobs per month.


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Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President and CEO of Ortho Spine Partners and sits on several company and industry related Boards. He also is the Creator and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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