closeup of nurse in a corridor

Nursing homes lost 11,600 jobs in February, contributing to the 11.5% reduction in the nursing home workforce seen since February 2020, a drop of 182,000 jobs. That’s according to a health sector economic indicator labor brief released last week by nonprofit research and consulting group Altarum.

The drop in jobs is significantly greater than within the healthcare industry overall, where the workforce has declined by only about 3.5% since the pandemic’s start, Altarum found. Even other residential care facilities added 4,800 jobs in February, although employment in these facilities remains about 7.1%, or 128,000 jobs, below February 2020 levels.

“The economy overall added a strong 379,000 jobs in February, but total employment remains 6.2%, or about 9.5 million jobs below February 2020 peak employment,” brief authors wrote.
Staff shortages continue to plague the nursing home industry, as highlighted in a massive analysis published in Health Affairs earlier this month. The study found that median turnover among nursing staff, factoring in data from virtually all U.S. nursing homes, was 94% in 2017 and 2018. More alarmingly, mean turnover rates hit 140.7% among registered nurses, 129.1% among certified nursing aides and 114.1% among licensed practical nurses.