The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing over 14,000 nursing homes and assisted living communities, recently released a report detailing a labour crisis within the U.S. nursing home industry. The group analyzed Bureau of Labor Statistics employment statistics from March 2020, when the first U.S. lockdowns occurred.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. nursing homes have lost 221,000 jobs (a 14% drop) since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Assisted living centres also lost 38,000 jobs, an 8.2% drop.  In comparison, many other healthcare employment sectors have recovered most of their job losses.  For instance, hospitals and home health have respectively lost about 86,000 jobs (a 1.6% decline from pre-pandemic levels) and 19,000 jobs (1.2%) between March 2020 and October 2021. Physicians’ offices and outpatient care have seen gains of 22,000 (a 0.8% increase) and 15,000 jobs (a 1.5% increase) since March 2020.


These figures agree with AHCA/NCAL’s survey earlier this year which indicated:

  • ​86% of nursing homes and 77% of assisted living centres said their workforce situation has worsened
  • 58% of nursing homes limited new admissions
  • 78% of nursing homes and 61% of assisted living centres worried that staffing issues may force them to close


AHCA/NCAL’s president and CEO, Mark Parkinson, said: ‘Chronic Medicaid underfunding, combined with the billions of dollars providers have spent to fight the pandemic, have left long-term care providers struggling to compete for qualified staff.’


‘We desperately need the help of policymakers to attract and retain more caregivers, so that our nation’s most vulnerable have access to the long-term care they need,’ he added.

Source: AHCA/NCAL Press Release

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nursing homes, staffing, nurse shortage, nursing shortage, COVID-19, assisted living U.S. nursing homes have lost 221,000 jobs (a 14% drop) since the COVID-19 pandemic started.