The United States added 431,000 jobs in March, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but the health care industry added just 8,300 jobs, the slowest month of industry job growth since March 2021.
The 8,300 jobs added by the health care industry in March is down from 66,400 jobs added in February and 18,000 jobs added in January. Overall, the health care industry is down 294,000 jobs, or around 1.8%, since the start of the pandemic.
Home health care services saw the largest job increase in the industry, adding 6,400 jobs in March and surpassing its February 2020 employment level for the first time. Meanwhile, hospitals saw a growth of 5,100 jobs—marking the sector's highest employment level since December 2020—and health practitioners offices added 2,200 jobs.
Meanwhile, some sectors of the health care industry saw job losses in March, with the largest losses occurring in the nursing care sector—which lost 2,500 jobs—and the residential mental health facility sector—which lost 3,000 jobs. In addition, dentist and physician offices each lost more than 1,000 jobs while medical and diagnostic laboratories lost 900 jobs.
Overall, the unemployment rate is down to 3.6% in March, down 0.2 percentage points from February, marking the lowest unemployment rate the country has seen since the start of the pandemic when the unemployment rate was 3.5%. The United States is still short 1.6 million jobs from February 2020.
In addition, job openings are hitting almost record levels, the Associated Press reports, while applications for unemployment benefits have hit their lowest levels since 1969. (AHA News, 4/1; Devereaux, Modern Healthcare, 4/1; Ott, Associated Press, 3/31)
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