Health care mass layoffs escalate

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 6, 2012

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The number of people losing their jobs in a mass layoff from a hospital or an ambulatory care center spiked in June, according to a monthly report issued July 20 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A mass layoff is defined as at least 50 people losing their jobs from a single entity in one day.

A total of 13 mass layoffs occurred in June in the ambulatory care setting, a category that includes physician offices, leading at least 1,172 people to claim unemployment. For the first five months of the year, an average of only 6.2 mass layoffs in this sector affecting 422 people occurred each month.

Hospitals experienced a similar jump in June, with 20 mass layoffs involving at least 1,497 people. The industry had an average of only 6.6 mass layoffs involving 604 people per month for the first five months of 2012.

Statements from affected institutions generally implicated cuts to Medicaid pay as the reason behind the layoffs, which tend to involve administrative staff. Clinical staff, including physicians, rarely lose their jobs in these incidents.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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