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CSAs struggle to recruit staff as jobless claims hit historic low

The Labor Department said May 26 that unemployment insurance claims have fallen to 210,000 and continuing claims remain near the lowest level since 1969, the the wall street journal reported May 26.

So why are so many CHWs suffering for staff?

One of the biggest contributors is that Walmart, Target, Amazon and other retailers are competing with CSAs for some of the same staff, and they’re willing to pay higher salaries than in previous years. Walmart raised its minimum wage for all workers to $12 an hour in September, with an average hourly wage of $16.40.

CVS Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance plan to raise their minimum wage to $15 an hour. Target and Amazon also have a minimum wage of $15 an hour, while the national minimum wage is $7.25.

This means that clerical candidates, and sometimes nurses, may receive higher pay for entry-level jobs outside of health care. In rural areas, competition for workers can be particularly fierce.

And then there is competition from hospitals and healthcare systems.

“In my area, nurse staffing and salaries are very competitive,” said Lianne McDowell, CEO and administrator of South Portland Surgical Center in Tualatin, Oregon. Becker’s in January. “I’ve seen a big increase in salaries for nurses. There’s a shortage of staff and nurses, there’s a lot of competition with benefits and hospital salaries really skyrocketing, not just 2 or 3%, but more like 20-30% increases.”

On average, CHWs spend $2.2 million on employee salaries and wages, or about 21.3% of their net income, according to VMG Health’s Multi-Specialty CHW Benchmarking Study. The salary of ASC administrators is also increasing, reaching $100,000 to $119,000 on average, according to Operating room manager.

“The greatest enemy [to ASCs] right now the cost of everything is going up,” said Amy Noble, administrator of the Pain Control Center in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. Becker’s. “From equipment to supplies to personnel, expenses continue to rise while reimbursements stagnate.”

To combat the tight labor market and attractive competitor salaries, some ASCs have begun offering $5,000 signing bonuses to administrators. Other centers hope their flexible hours and culture will attract more administrative and nursing candidates than the big bucks offered by other employers.

Will it be enough? This answer will likely remain unclear for the foreseeable future, but one thing is certain: something has to give.

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