According to the October 2023 Jobs Report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth overall is trending upward, especially within the healthcare industry, with a slight increase in unemployment. Forecasts for 2024 are predicting minimal growth for the staffing industry overall, with a dip in healthcare staffing projected.
These findings are in line with the trends we are seeing across healthcare as a whole and within our own Relode customer base. Many organizations are pulling back spend on contract labor and travelers while also reevaluating their need for expensive staffing agencies going into next year, aligning with SIA predictions of a decrease in overall healthcare staffing spend.
"While job growth continued in October, the pace was slower than expected, and the unemployment rate ticked up. Looking ahead to healthcare staffing in 2024, where declines are projected, and more companies will look to services like Relode who can help them fill more than just contract roles," commented Relode CEO, Peter Clare.
As companies are planning and budgeting for ways to do more with fewer resources in 2024, a new approach to hiring will be required.
Here are the high-level takeaways you need to know as we dive in to the November jobs report...
1. Overall Employment Growth
The October U.S. employment situation revealed a rise of +150,000 jobs in nonfarm employment on a seasonally adjusted basis. However, this figure was below the median forecast of 180,000 in a Bloomberg survey.
2. Unemployment Rate
The national unemployment rate increased from 3.8% in September to 3.9% in October. This shift is largely due to the impacts of the UAW strike, with expectations that the situation will improve in the coming months.
3. Industry-Specific Employment Changes
- Largest Gains: Healthcare added 58,000 jobs in October, in line with the average monthly gain of 53,000 over the prior 12 months. Employment continued to trend upward in ambulatory health care services (+32,000), hospitals (+18,000), and nursing and residential care facilities (+8,000).
- Largest Declines: Employment dipped in Manufacturing (-35,000), Transportation and warehousing (-12,100), Information (-9,000), Financial activities, and Other services.
4. Outlook for 2024
Looking ahead to 2024, SIA projects a 3% growth for the staffing industry overall (4.1% excluding travel nursing), in line with expectations for minimal GDP growth and high interest rates creating a headwind. Given this environment, single-digit growth is projected across most segments of the staffing industry. With the exception of a forecasted 3% decline in healthcare staffing.