January was a dismal month for healthcare employment, breaking with what had been eight months of gradual recovery since the worst of the pandemic.
The healthcare industry lost an estimated 30,000 jobs in January, preliminary data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show. It's the first decline since healthcare employment went over a cliff in April 2020 during COVID-19's initial wave. Healthcare lost 9% of its jobs that month, but the industry had been very slowly recovering ever since.
January's loss is a noteworthy swing from a relatively strong December, in which the industry added 44,300 jobs. Almost 16 million Americans worked in healthcare last month, down 0.2% from December 2020.