Beth Burnham Mace headshot
Beth Burnham Mace

Employment in nursing and residential care facilities increased by 8,000 jobs in June, according to a information published Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The data represent statistics from two monthly surveys.

“This was the fifth consecutive monthly gain, a positive sign for the industry. However, jobs remain 11.3% below their high point seen in July 2019,” National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care Chief Economist Beth Burnham Mace told the McKnight’s Business Daily. Approximately 45% of the jobs in this category are jobs in nursing care facilities, she added.

Nursing facility jobs have increased consecutively for the past three months, Mace said, but the loss in such positions from their peak level in September 2011 stands at 19%.

“While June’s data is positive, there are still many jobs that need to be regenerated within the industry,” she said. “Until this happens, a lack of staffing may be a limiting factor for some operators seeking to serve new patients and residents.”

Healthcare employment overall rose by 57,000 jobs in June, almost double the amount added in May. In addition to including nursing and residential care facilities, healthcare added an additional 28,000 jobs in ambulatory healthcare and 21,000 jobs in hospitals. Still, employment in healthcare overall is below its February 2020 level by 176,000, or 1.1%. 

Assisted living communities, continuing care retirement communities and skilled nursing facilities are experiencing slower workforce recoveries compared with other healthcare sectors, according to a market trends blog published late last month by NIC.

The overall unemployment rate was stable, at 3.6%, for the fourth month in a row. The number of unemployed people essentially was unchanged, at 5.9 million, in June. The current statistics show little change from pre-pandemic values in February 2020, which were 3.5% and 5.7 million people, respectively.