Healthcare hiring ramped up in January even as omicron raged


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Physicians’ offices saw the biggest job gains in January, when they made an estimated 9,700 hires, up from 3,200 in December. Dental clinics also had a relatively strong month and added 3,700 workers, 900 more than during December.

The home health sector had an estimated 1,700 fewer jobs in January after gaining 1,800 the previous month. Medical and diagnostic laboratories lost 200 jobs last month, per the preliminary estimates.

Hospitals made an estimated 3,400 new hires in January after adding 2,000 employees a month before. The December jobs report estimated that hospitals had lost thousands of jobs.

January appears to have been an unusually strong month for nursing care facilities, which made an estimated 2,100 hires. Nursing homes shed jobs in all but one month of 2021 and ended this January with almost 5% fewer jobs than during January 2021.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 4% in January, up from 3.9% in December. The number of people who said they couldn’t work because their employers closed or lost business due to the pandemic almost doubled from 3.1 million in December to 6 million in January. Total employment is still down 1.9% from February 2020, the month before the novel coronavirus spread widely across the country.

Leisure and hospitality reported the largest gains in January by adding an estimated 151,000 jobs, mostly in bars and restaurants. Professional and business services added 86,000 jobs. Retail traded added 61,000 jobs.



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