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Hurricane Sandy’s other damage: more health care layoffs

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 7, 2013

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The number of mass layoffs in medical settings rose in November 2012 because of the destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy, according to a monthly report on job loss trends released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Fifty-one mass layoff incidents, involving at least 50 people, affected 5,336 employees in the health care industry in November, according to the Dec. 21, 2012, BLS report. The numbers take into account eight incidents involving 596 people working in the ambulatory care setting, a category that includes physician offices. The BLS said the layoffs were part of the widespread economic aftereffects of Sandy, which struck in October 2012.

Only 35 mass layoff events affecting 2,075 workers occurred in the health care industry in October, including four mass layoffs in the ambulatory care setting that led 222 people to claim unemployment benefits.

The BLS does not break down its statistics by profession, but health care recruiters said administrative staff are more likely to be at risk for job loss than physicians.

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