Jun 8, 2020 - Health

Dentistry fueled the health care sector's May jobs bump

A dentist in Maine wearing a mask.

A dentist in Maine wearing a mask while working with a patient in March. Photo: Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Health care — specifically dentistry — was a major reason Friday's jobs report blew away economists’ expectations.

By the numbers: Of the 312,000 jobs the health care sector added in May, 245,000 were in dentists' offices.

Yes, but: Since the coronavirus lockdowns started, almost 1.2 million people who work in health care, especially those who work in administrative roles in outpatient settings, still have lost their jobs.

The bottom line: Providers are eager to get patients back in their offices and hospitals, sometimes advertising they are resuming elective procedures.

  • That's starting to happen with tooth procedures and routine cleanings, which necessitated rehiring laid-off employees. But volumes still don't appear to be anywhere close to what they were previously.

Go deeper: Doctors Without Borders aids U.S. health care workers treating the coronavirus, including in N.Y and Fla.

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