Report Shows NY Home Care Workers Earning Poverty Wages

With fair wages an ongoing rally cry for many home care workers nationwide, a new report sheds light on several trends within the home health industry, focusing its gaze specifically on New York. 

A report released today by the Alliance for a Greater New York (ALIGN) and the New York Care Council finds that an overwhelming majority of the city’s home care workers earn an annual household income that is under $25,000. 

Representing formal sector home care workers and domestic workers, the report finds that 27% of these formal sector workers and 38% of domestic workers earn less than $15,000 a year.

The home care system, which employes 155,000 formal sector home care works and an increasing share of New York City’s 120,000-240,000 domestic workers, will be the single biggest driver of employment in the city in the coming years, notes ALIGN. 

Certified home care workers are projected to bro faster than any other group of workers in the city between 2010 and 2020, what the report notes as an almost 50% expansion that will add over 76,000 jobs. 

“The home care system holds the potential to create thousands of good jobs for New Yorkers in need of employment and honor the preferences of seniors to age in place and individuals with disabilities to live integrated within communities,” writes the report’s authors. 

In order for the home care system to live up to such a great promise as this, ALIGN notes that several systemic issues must first be addressed. 

These issues include rising costs of healthcare, increasing retirement insecurity and moderate-income individuals who do not qualify for Medicaid.

“An estimated one in five adult city residents provides some caregiving support for family, friends, or neighbors,” writes the report. “Unpaid caregivers provide caregiving support to loved ones, many times at great personal cost, and receive little financial, emotional, and training support.”

At the local level, the New York Care Council launched the local chapter of Caring Across Generations.

Since its launch, the NY Care Council—a coalition of care providers, people who receive care, and community, labor and policy advocacy organizations—has been growing and gaining increasing support to improve home care job quality, job training and establish career ladders for home care workers, as well as working to establish pathways to citizenship for undocumented workers providing home care services.

Written by Jason Oliva

Jason Oliva