Health care and social assistance employed 20 million private-sector workers in 2021. Employees in this industry have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic for more than 2 years. In response to the pandemic, establishments in health care and social assistance increased pay and added workplace flexibilities more frequently than establishments in the private sector overall. The mix of changes in pay, workplace flexibilities, and increases in telework reflect how establishments varied their approaches to attract and retain employees and provide their services during the pandemic.
|Health care and social assistance
|Total private sector
Increased telework for some or all employees
Started flexible or staggered work hours
Increased base wages
Started compressed or alternative work schedules
Paid one-time special monetary awards/appreciation bonuses for working during the pandemic
Started voluntary reductions in hours worked
Temporarily paid a wage premium/extra hourly amount for working during the pandemic
Started paid leave for dependent care
Paid workers who referred others to apply for jobs
Paid one-time bonuses to newly hired workers
Started job sharing
Thirty-nine percent of establishments in health care and social assistance increased telework for some or all of their employees. Twenty-eight percent started offering flexible or staggered work hours, and 19 percent increased base wages. Other common changes establishments in the industry made were starting to offer compressed or alternative work schedules (18 percent) and paying one-time special monetary awards or appreciation bonuses for working during the pandemic (17 percent).
These data are from the Business Response Survey to the Coronavirus Pandemic. For more information, see U.S. Business Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic — 2021. We also have tables and more charts on how businesses responded to the pandemic, with detail for industries, states, and establishment size.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Establishment response to the COVID-19 pandemic in health care and social assistance at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2022/establishment-response-to-the-covid-19-pandemic-in-health-care-and-social-assistance.htm (visited February 29, 2024).