22 million employed in health care fight against COVID-19

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Cardiovascular doctor looking at coronary x-ray output. Getty Images.

WASHINGTON — There were 22 million workers in the health care industry, one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors in the United States that accounts for 14% of all U.S. workers, according to the Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey (ACS).

The health care and social assistance industry sector includes establishments that provide medical care in hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices, nursing and residential care, and social assistance such as family and childcare services.

In 2019, around seven million people worked at general medical, surgical or specialty hospitals; some two million at outpatient care centers and about 1.8 million worked at nursing care facilities.

Health Care Occupations

There were 9.8 million workers employed as health care technicians and practitioners, including physicians, surgeons, and registered nurses. About two-thirds were non-Hispanic White.

Another 5.3 million worked as nursing assistants, home health and personal care aides and in other health care support occupations. One-quarter of health care support workers were Black.

Women accounted for three-quarters of full-time, year-round health care workers.

Women working as registered nurses, the most common health care occupation for women, had median annual earnings of $68,509.

In contrast, women working as nursing assistants, the most common health care support occupation, earned $28,686.

Among full-time, year-round health care workers, more than half of paramedics, surgeons, and other physicians were men. Median earnings for men in selected health care occupations ranged from under $30,000 for home health aides to over $250,000 for emergency medicine physicians.

We used statistics from the 2019 American Community Survey to profile health care workers at the national and state level.

Data.census.gov provides selected labor force statistics. ACS estimates are based on data from a sample of housing units and people. Therefore, respondents may or may not live and work in the same geographic location as their employer.

(Census Bureau’s Industry and Occupation Statistics Branch. Story used with permission.)

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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