Even as the economy begins to recover and jobs return, employment remains well below pre-pandemic levels in many key sectors. Two of these areas are education and health care, according to data recently released by the Labor Department.
Overall, there are 1.3 million fewer educational and medical personnel on payrolls compared to a year ago. But as the vaccine gains wider distribution, these sectors will be poised for a strong recovery.
This is already starting to happen in the education sector as parents press for schools to reopen. In February last year, before the pandemic set in, there were 3.8 million people on education payrolls. Twelve months later, those payrolls are 10.3% lower, at 3.4 million.
There is a similar story in health care, where providers had to postpone elective procedures last year to make room for the influx of coronavirus patients. Now, as cases decline, health care payrolls are improving but they remain 4.4% lower than a year ago. There were 20.8 million on health care payrolls before the pandemic and 19.9 million as of February, according to the Labor Department.
For more information on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting midsize businesses, please visit the RSM Coronavirus Resource Center.