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Changes in Unemployment Among Health Care Workers Following the COVID-19 Pandemic

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article
1 Credit CME

An adequate supply of health care workers (HCWs) is critical for delivering high-quality care. Before COVID-19, HCWs were already experiencing increased burnout1 and turnover, raising concerns about the sustainability of the health care workforce. Given the threat of COVID-19 to the health and well-being of HCWs, we examined changes in unemployment among HCWs from January 2015 to April 2022.

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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.

Article Information

Accepted for Publication: September 8, 2022.

Published Online: September 19, 2022. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.17608

Corresponding Author: Sasmira Matta, MHS, University of Pennsylvania, 3641 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (smatta@wharton.upenn.edu).

Author Contributions: Both authors had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Concept and design: All authors.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Matta.

Drafting of the manuscript: Matta.

Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Nicholas.

Statistical analysis: All authors.

Administrative, technical, or material support: Nicholas.

Supervision: Nicholas.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Nicholas reported receipt of grants from the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration. No other disclosures were reported.

Additional Contributions: We thank Debra Bozzi, PhD, Health Care Cost Institute, for statistical analysis feedback; no compensation was provided for this contribution.

References
1.
Dyrbye  LN , Shanafelt  TD , Sinsky  CA ,  et al.  Burnout Among Health Care Professionals: A Call to Explore and Address This Underrecognized Threat to Safe, High-Quality Care. National Academy of Medicine; 2017.
2.
Flood  S , King  M , Rodgers  R , Ruggles  S , Warren  JR , Westberry  M . Integrated Public Use Microdata Series Current Population Survey. Version 9.0. University of Minnesota; 2021.
3.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. Household and establishment survey response rates. Published 2022. Accessed June 1, 2022. https://www.bls.gov/osmr/response-rates/#chart1a
4.
Himmelstein  KEW , Venkataramani  AS .  Economic vulnerability among US female health care workers: potential impact of a $15-per-hour minimum wage.   Am J Public Health. 2019;109(2):198-205. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2018.304801PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
5.
Angrist  JD , Pischke  J-S .  Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist’s Companion. Princeton University Press; 2009. doi:10.1515/9781400829828
6.
Ochieng  N , Biniek  JF , Musumeci  M , Neuman  T . Funding for Health Care Providers During the Pandemic: An Update. Kaiser Family Foundation. Published 2021. Accessed January 27, 2022. http://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/funding-for-health-care-providers-during-the-pandemic-an-update
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