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New analysis highlights the changes in U.S. health care workforce during COVID-19 pandemic

The study found that health care employment levels declined in mid-2020 to 21.1 million jobs, a 5.2% decrease from 22.2 million in 2019. Employment declines varied across health care organization types during the first year of the pandemic, with the largest decline taking place among dental offices (10%) and skilled nursing facilities (8.4%).

While employment levels of most health care sectors rebounded to pre-COVID levels in 2021, the researchers found there was a 13.6% decline in employment at skilled nursing facilities compared to 2019.

SNFs See Largest Health Care Wage Increases Yet Employment Levels Lag Behind

Employees in skilled nursing facilities, however, saw the largest wage increase in 2020 (9.5%) and 2021 (6.3%), compared to 2019.

Skilled nursing’s average weekly wage increase peaked in the fourth quarter of 2020, at around 115% of its 2019 average, the study showed.