June 24, 2020
Mike Hargrave

Outpatient Employment Rebounds in May

Many economic signals rebounded in May of 2020.  The equities markets, housing markets and overall employment markets all showed sharp pullbacks in March and April only to rebound sharply in May.  Among the measures is Ambulatory Services employment. 

Series 6562100001 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics comprises the majority of employment within MOBs.  Employment within this sector has perpetually grown month over month and year over year even stretching back to the great recession.  That is, until the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March and April of 2020. During this time, physician office operations were greatly impacted.  We conducted a survey in April which showed that one third of physician offices suspended or severely limited operations during this time.  Undoubtedly, this led to layoffs and furloughs as employment in the sector declined by 16% from April to March. 

But ambulatory services employment rebounded in May.  It was up 5.75% signaling that physician offices and healthcare practices were slowly beginning to open up again.  It should be noted that the 15.92% drop and subsequent 5.75% rise are both the largest percent drop and rise in the series.  We will monitor this trend in future months so stay tuned!