According to a recent HealthDay/Harris Poll, an increasing proportion of Americans are experiencing the effects of the healthcare staffing shortage across the country.

More consumers are now affected by staffing shortages in healthcare than in retail, hospitality, education, customer service, or manufacturing, according to poll data.

According to Kathy Steinberg, vice president of media and communications research at the Harris Poll, more than a third (35%) of adults at the time of the February poll had heard about or experienced the effects of a lack of healthcare workers, up from 25% in November.

Comparatively, 24% of schools faced personnel shortages in February, up from 17% in November.With 36% of customers noticing or being impacted by a lack of workers in February, the retail sector experienced the worst staffing issues. Nonetheless, that number hardly changed from November, when 35% of respondents reported encountering staffing issues in stores.

Steinberg continued, “Quite worryingly, the data reveal an even more pronounced impact on women, who are more likely than men to have experienced healthcare shortages now [41% vs. 28%] and also more likely to have noticed such shortages now than just a few months ago [41% in February vs. 31% in November].More than 4 out of 5 U.S. adults (84%) have tried to get healthcare in the past six months, and of those nearly 3 in 4 (73%) experienced delays or challenges in getting the care they need, the poll shows.

Further, more than half of the poll’s participants (52%) said they’re worried they won’t be able to get needed medical care because of staffing shortages.

Experts say that U.S. healthcare has been experiencing workforce issues for some time now, but the pandemic exposed and worsened those issues.