The Challenge in Tracking Unemployment Among Health Care Workers and Why It Matters


  • Abstract

    The health care industry lost 1.5 million jobs between March and April 2020, the height of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the US. More than half a million jobs remain lost 6 months later, with losses spread across the major health care sectors of hospitals (22.7%), ambulatory care settings (39.6%), and long-term care (LTC) facilities (37.7%). The job loss in LTC facilities (eg, skilled nursing facilities, residential care, assisted living) represents 6.2% of their workforce compared with 2.8% in ambulatory care and 2.4% in hospitals. The LTC sector has seen a steady decline in employment since the start of the pandemic, while the other health care sectors have mostly rebounded. The job loss in LTC is concerning but not surprising, given reports of high COVID-19 risk and burnout. Tracking these unemployed workers is a challenge yet is necessary to develop a strategy to strengthen the LTC workforce and improve health care delivery


  • Authors:

    Frogner BK, Skillman SM

  • Journal/Publisher:

    JAMA Health Forum

  • Edition:

    Nov 2020. doi:10.1001/jamahealthforum.2020.1358

  • Link to Article

    Access the article here: JAMA Health Forum

  • Citation:

    Frogner BK, Skillman SM. The Challenge in Tracking Unemployment Among Health Care Workers and Why It Matters. JAMA Health Forum. 2020;1(11):e201358