The number of healthcare jobs held by women has not yet recovered from the massive losses the industry took in the beginning of the pandemic, a recent study finds.
As many as 530,000, or 3.8%, fewer healthcare jobs were held by women in October compared to February, according to a study by Altarum, a not-for-profit health research and consulting organization. There were about 36,000, or 1.2%, fewer healthcare jobs for men, who typically make up a significantly smaller segment of the healthcare workforce.
Women's jobs have recovered the most in physician offices and outpatient facilities but continue to decline in nursing homes, where the most women's jobs have been lost, according to the study. In nursing homes and residential care facilities, 200,000 women's jobs have been lost.
The study's authors called this decline "particularly concerning" and attributed the post-acute care job losses to the decrease in elective surgeries that reduce the demand for rehabilitation, the toll COVID-19 has taken among residents, and people opting for in-home care instead.
The healthcare job losses for women reflect a larger decline in women's employment during the pandemic. In September alone, 80% of the 1.1 million adults who dropped out of the labor pool nationwide were women, according to a National Women's Law Center analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics September jobs report.
The Altarum study authors say women are likely bearing the brunt of the pandemic's job losses because of limitations on safe and affordable childcare.
Correction: This story originally incorrectly stated the number of jobs lost in nursing homes and residential care facilities.