More than 1,700 attendees gathered at the 2022 NIC Spring Conference in Dallas last month, surpassing turnout expectations as participants expressed a bullish outlook for the senior housing and skilled nursing sectors after a few challenging years.
Just over one-quarter of respondents noted that the severity of their staffing shortages across their organizations was severe, while two-thirds indicated the problem was moderate. Of significance, one-quarter of respondents had more than 20% of full-time positions currently unfilled. Regarding tenure of full-time employees, on average, just under one-half of organizations retained more than 80% on the job after one month. However, after one year, only 17% of organizations still had over 80% remaining on the job. Staffing shortages are often due to the inability to fill nursing aide positions, but wage competition and the inability to hire nurses also factored highly.
As the economy continues to move back toward normalcy and away from the pandemic, the Labor Department reported that nonfarm payrolls rose by 431,000 in March 2022. The data suggest that the war in Ukraine and the surge in oil prices has not dampened hiring activity.
The pandemic disruption in all its forms continues to test and challenge the senior housing sector. But the level of agility, preparedness and responsiveness among senior housing operators has never been higher and remains a tailwind for senior housing demand, as measured by the change in occupied stock. In this analysis, we examine the drop and subsequent recovery in the level of occupied units by majority property type since the pandemic began to influence the senior housing sector, over the period from 1Q 2020 to 4Q 2021, and across the 31 NIC MAP Primary Markets and the 68 NIC MAP Secondary Markets Aggregates.