Continuing care retirement / life plan communities and skilled nursing facilities are lagging behind assisted living communities when it comes to recruiting staff members, according to Fitch Ratings’ latest monthly labor dashboard for the sector.
Staffing in CCRCs is still 7.4% below pre-pandemic levels, and the skilled nursing workforce is down 10% from pre-pandemic levels. Staffing in assisted living communities, by comparison, have rebounded to approximately 4% above pre-pandemic levels, Fitch noted.
Monthly job growth averaged an additional 2,350, 2,400 and 5,333 individuals per month from August 2022 to July 2023 for CCRCs, assisted living communities and SNFs, respectively. Comparatively, job growth from August 2021 to July 2022 had averaged –590, +1,170 and –1,492 per month for CCRCs, assisted living communities and SNFs.
Average hourly earnings are decreasing, according to Fitch. Year-over-year average hourly earnings growth among CCRCs, assisted living community and SNF employees slowed to 5.57%, 3.48% and 3.89%, respectively, as of July. Wage growth had peaked in the first quarter of 2022, at 12.37%, 11.55% and 11.54% for CCRCs, assisted living community and SNF employees, respectively. Fitch noted that year-over-year average hourly earnings growth in the private sector was 4.29% as of August.
There are fewer job openings in the healthcare and social assistance sector than there were in March 2022.
More employees are quitting jobs in the healthcare and social assistance sector, “highlighting that the tight labor market continues to be in favor of workers in search of higher wages and better work environments,” Fitch said.