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Summary of April Healthcare BLS Numbers

Healthcare employment continues to bounce back to pre-pandemic numbers, though some organizations are recovering slower than others.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) April employment summary reported a much lower gain than predicted, 266,000 to March’s 919,000. The unemployment rate also rose slightly for the first time since April 2020, from 6.0% to 6.1%, widening the job gap to 8.2 million, or 5.4 percent, from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.

Healthcare Employment at a Glance

In the past month, healthcare employment numbers largely evened themselves out, resulting in an overall slight loss of jobs (-4,000). Nursing home facilities, including community care and residential care, experienced the biggest dip in employment, losing 19,500 positions from March to April. Home health jobs also declined by 6,700. 

On the other end of the spectrum, ambulatory care services have gained 21,000 jobs since March. Health practitioners’ offices, care centers, and laboratories also recovered about 29,000 positions total, and mental health facilities also saw a small bump of close to 2,000 new jobs.

This may indicate patients’ increased return to day-to-day healthcare practices and appointments. It could also reflect the country’s continued COVID-19 vaccination efforts as more citizens become eligible for the shot.

Overall, healthcare has regained over 51,500 jobs between January and April, with 542,000 positions to match February 2020 employment numbers. 

What Healthcare Organizations Should Prioritize in the Coming Months

Healthcare employment still has a ways to go, but HR teams have a lot on their plates right now as new jobs open up every day. Here are a few ways to simplify recruiting and employee management tasks.

Show staff that they’re appreciated

76% of healthcare workers struggle with burnout and 8 out of 10 nurses say their mental health has been affected by COVID-19, according to multiple surveys. Prioritizing workplace wellness among your staff can help stabilize your workforce, retain talent, and prevent pandemic burnout

How to support staff at work:

  • Strive to create a safe environment for staff to discuss their concerns and address mental health
  • Implement flexible scheduling and require workers to take regular breaks and time off.
  • Set up a mentoring system matching up with new workers for support and encourage current workers to check in on each other’s mental health.
  • Make your workplace wellness initiatives accessible to all staff and ensure they know where to get professional mental health support, if needed.

Maintain a vaccination tracking system that works for you

Your workplace’s vaccine plan is likely well underway, meaning the pressure’s on to stay on top of staff paperwork. Consider digitizing your vaccination plan to stay organized and audit-ready. 

Platforms like Apploi streamline the vaccination process, allowing you to store, maintain, and update staff vaccination documentation. Keep track of who has taken the shot, receive and send upcoming dosage reminders, and determine how many staff are fully inoculated.

Power up your recruiting game

New healthcare jobs may be a great sign of a recovering industry, but they also mean more competition when it comes to recruiting. Now’s a good time to evaluate your recruitment marketing and hiring process to see if you’re reaching the right candidates. 

Optimize your approach by:

  • Adding job board strategy, SEO, and social media to your recruitment marketing plan
  • Concentrating on selling your organization’s work culture with an approachable employer brand
  • Promoting your competitive workplace benefits and perks in job descriptions and on careers pages
  • Creating a digital hiring strategy that includes reporting tools and digital platforms to support your efforts

Apploi brings the healthcare HR process online, from recruitment to staff documentation management. Interested in learning more? Contact us today for a free demo of our end-to-end solution.