Jan 15, 2021 - Health
Women's health care jobs aren't coming back as fast as men's
Health care jobs held by women have come back much more slowly than jobs held by men, mirroring trends in the economy overall.
Why it matters: The vast majority of health care workers infected with COVID-19 have been women, and they've borne the brunt of the industry's economic woes, too.
By the numbers: Women outnumber men in the health care workforce, but they've suffered steeper job losses because of the pandemic.
- 79% of health care jobs held by men have returned to the workforce, compared to only 62% for women, according to a recent report from Altarum.
- Nurses, nursing assistants and medical assistants lost their jobs in large numbers early in the pandemic, due to the freeze on elective procedures.
- And while most of the industry added jobs in the last quarter of 2020, jobs in nursing homes and residential care facilities — which are disproportionately held by women — haven't returned.
"That’s really moving from a short-term pandemic impact to a long-term economic impact," said Corwin Rhyan, a co-author of the Altarum report.
- "The longer that anyone is detached from the labor force and remain unemployed, the more likely that is to have long-term impacts on their future employment and their future earnings potential," he said.
Between the lines: School closures and a lack of safe child-care options have made it much harder for mothers to reenter the workforce, whether they work in health care or not.
- "We see moms experiencing significant wage hits just for being moms and moms of color experiencing the most significant wage hits," said Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director at MomsRising.