Stagnant Home Care Wages Add to $153 Billion Taxpayer Burden

Caregivers continue to post an average pay rate of $10 per hour — a wage that is significantly impacting more than just the workers themselves, new research shows.

According to the latest Caregiverlist survey, about 26% of survey respondents — professional caregivers employed with senior care companies — reported receiving $10 an hour. The next most popular pay rate was $9 per hour (17%), followed by $8 an hour (13%), according to Caregiverlist, which assists families in finding senior care and helps caregivers find employment. 

However, a good portion of respondents indicated receiving more than the $10 hourly average: 11% posted average wages of $11, $12 and $14, respectively. 

Results of the March survey come at a time when home health care workers are joining the fight for higher wages, accompanying other professionals in low-paying industries. 

Previous data shows that, despite ranking among the fastest-growing occupations in the U.S., personal care aides and home health aides receive median hourly wages of $9.67 and $10.10, respectively, reflecting the latest Caregiverslist findings. 

But, as new research shows, stagnating wages and decreased benefits are impacting more than just the low-wage workers. An April report published by the University of California, Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education suggests it’s a problem for the federal and state governments, which fund public assistance programs for many of these workers.

Among those occupations which rely most heavily on public assistance programs are home care workers, joined by front-line fast food workers and child care providers. Roughly 48% of home care workers are in families with at least one family member relying on one of these programs; for fast food workers, that percentage is even higher, at 52%; and for child care workers it’s slightly lower, at 46%. 

“Taxpayers bear a significant portion of the hidden costs of low-wage work in America,” costing them $152.8 billion each year in public support for working families, the UC Berkeley report states. 

To read the UC Berkeley report, click here. For the Caregiverslist survey results, click here

Written by Emily Study