Home Care Staff, Nursing Assistants Experience Job Growth but also Poverty, Other Challenges

October 7, 2016 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​The job market for home care staff and nursing assistants is growing rapidly, but people who work these jobs face high poverty rates, states a September 6, 2016, news release from the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI) describing the organization's two new reports on these worker groups. The number of people who work for home care agencies has more than doubled from 700,000 in 2005 to 1.4 million in 2015, and another 800,000 are estimated to work directly for consumers through publicly funded programs, according to PHI's report on home care workers. Job growth is expected to continue. "Home care will create more new jobs in the next decade—well over 600,000—than any occupation in the U.S. economy," states the press release. Despite the demand, the median hourly wage was $10.11 in 2015—representing a slight decrease, when adjusted for inflation, compared with the hourly wage of $10.21 in 2005. Nearly one in four home care workers lives in poverty, and one in two receives public assistance. More than 600,000 nursing assistants work in nursing homes, according to PHI's report on nursing assistants.

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