Health Care Jobs Gap Remains Serious

This post first appeared on July 11, 2022 at AEIdeas. AEIdeas is a public policy blog from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

By Alex Brill and Grant M. Seiter

Employment in the health care sector increased by 56,700 in June, more than double the average monthly pace in this sector during the last year, according to last Friday’s jobs report. Nevertheless, the sector is reeling from a lack of workers. This challenge is not new but was greatly exacerbated by the pandemic.

Employment in physicians’ offices, outpatient care centers, home health care services, hospitals, and nursing and residential care facilities is 175,600 below its February 2020 peak of 16.5 million. But, relative to a counterfactual, pandemic-free world, which assumes health care employment would have continued to grow at its pre-pandemic rate, the sector’s employment gap is more realistically 954,000 jobs. In June, only 367,000 experienced workers— that is, those unemployed individuals whose last job was held in the health care sector— were available for work and actively looking for work, according to the Current Population Survey (CPS). (See Figure 1.)

Another way to look at the state of the health care labor market is to compare the supply of available experienced workers to labor demand, measured by job openings

Read the full post at AEIdeas.