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Summary of October Healthcare BLS Numbers: Employment Back on the Rise

Healthcare employment is finally back on the upswing, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics October jobs report. After net job losses in August and September, employment increased in October for both nonfarm payroll overall and healthcare specifically. Unemployment is now down to 4.6% across industries, which is lower than it’s been since the start of the pandemic. 

Adding to the good news, recent BLS revisions show that August and September employment numbers were actually stronger than originally reported. Between these two months, 235,000 more jobs were added than reported previously.  

Healthcare Employment at a Glance

Healthcare added 37,000 jobs in October, with net gains for almost every profession. Home Healthcare and Skilled Nursing Facilities saw notable gains—which is great news, considering SNFs’ recent staffing troubles

The BLS October report shows that healthcare had a good growth month across the board. Ambulatory care led the gains with 32,300 new positions, followed by home healthcare, which gained 15,800. Physicians’ offices added roles (8,600) along with dentists’ (2,300), outpatient care centers (1,400), medical and diagnostic labs (600), and other healthcare offices (4,400). Hospitals added 1,100 roles, and Skilled Nursing Facilities made a moderate rebound from last month’s losses by adding 3,800 new roles. Miscellaneous ambulatory care jobs dropped by about 800.

Overall, healthcare employment is still down 460,000 from February 2020. 

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What Healthcare Organizations Should Prioritize in the Coming Months

Connect With Diverse Workers 

The October jobs report shows that across industries, unemployment rates are declining for white men. But this trend didn’t hold true across demographics—unemployment stayed the same for women and for Black, Asian, and Latinx workers. These demographic trends might look different in healthcare, but employers should still take note of who is and isn’t coming back to work. Women and BIPOC workers might need more assistance returning to the workforce, and that’s important to recognize if these workers make up your frontline staff. Check in with your workers through one-on-one meetings or anonymous surveys and look for opportunities to offer support.

Revisit Your Benefits Package

Amplify your recruiting efforts by taking a look at your benefits package. At Apploi’s recent roundtable on the nursing shortage, we discussed the importance of flexible benefits to help you attract more diverse groups of workers. Make your workplace more welcoming by letting them tell you what kind of support they need. 

Offer Education to Entry-Level Candidates

Despite job growth in October, only about 104,000 joined the labor force, falling below anticipated numbers. This tells us that employers need to do more to entice candidates—especially in healthcare, where managers are still trying to fix the talent shortage. One great way to do this is by offering free training to new workers. You’ll make it easier for candidates without healthcare experience to pivot to the industry, and you’ll get more applicants in the process. 

Apploi brings the healthcare HR process online, from recruitment to staff documentation management. Interested in learning more? Contact us today for a free demo of our end-to-end solution.