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Health care added 40K jobs in April with hospital, ambulatory gains

Written on May 11, 2023

Health care added 40,000 jobs in April, led by gains of 24,000 posts in ambulatory services, 9,000 in nursing and residential care facilities and 7,000 in hospitals, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly jobs report released May 4. 

The April job numbers decreased when compared to the average monthly gain of 47,000 jobs in the sector over the prior six months. In March, health care added 34,000 jobs, according to the BLS. 

The job growth comes as hospitals attempt to increase hiring initiatives to temper costs of contract labor. 

The U.S. added 253,000 jobs in April, above economists’ estimates, as the Federal Reserve continued raising interest rates. 

Hospital job growth slowed compared to the 11,000 jobs added in March. Health systems have prioritized ramping up hiring initiatives to curb labor costs and contract labor expenses as inflation hampers hospital margins. 

Labor shortages have been a continued obstacle for hospitals this year after the coronavirus pandemic spurred job reductions and clinicians left the field due to burnout. Health systems used contract labor to stem employment gaps, with labor expenses rising as much as 36% compared with pre-pandemic levels. 

Home health jobs gains slowed as the sector added 2,300 jobs in April, down from a gain of 11,900 posts recorded in March. The slowdown comes as companies and hospitals continue a push into at-home care to decrease costs and expand health care access.  

Assisted living facilities and continuing care retirement communities gained 3,800 jobs last month as federal agencies like the CMS look to issue minimum staffing mandates. The White House announced last year that it would direct the CMS to create a set of nursing home reforms in wake of the pandemic. 

Health care recorded broad job gains across the board excluding outpatient care centers and other ambulatory health services, which lost 1,500 and 300 jobs in April, respectively.