COVID-19’s Effect on the Employment Status of Health Care Workers

Authors: Natalia Oster, PhD, MPH | Susan Skillman, MS | Bianca Frogner, PhD

Topics: COVID-19, Health Workforce Models and Projections, Scope of Practice (SOP), Staffing, Workforce Demand, Workforce Supply

Research Center: University of Washington Center for Health Workforce Studies

June 3, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dynamic effect on the health workforce. Redeployment, furlough, and layoff are among the terms used to describe various work statuses. Some terms are related and overlapping, potentially causing confusion for employees, media, policymakers, and researchers who may be interested in tracking health care employment trends throughout the pandemic.

This brief defines the range of work statuses that one can hold, identifies areas where overlap may create confusion, and discusses the potential long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on employment in the health care industry.

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University of Washington Center for Health Workforce Studies