Despite its poverty-level pay scale, home care aide is one of the fastest growing jobs in the U.S. right now, reports Bloomberg Businessweek.
The nearly 1 million personal care aides counted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012 generally provide assistance with activities of daily living for the elderly and disabled, allowing them to remain in their homes. The average hourly pay the government tracked for these workers in 2012 was $10.01.
“It’s a signature occupation of a post-recession economy creating mostly low-wage jobs,” the article says.
A home care aide highlighted by Bloomberg works as an independent contractor rather than for a home care agency. Amanda Sheppard and others like her are not included in the BLS’s 2012 tally of 985,230 PCAs, says an advocacy group for direct care workers.
Conservative estimates add another 800,000 personal care workers to the BLS’s official number, says PHI (formerly known as the Paraprofessional Health Institute).
Even though wages for PCAs actually fell 5% in the past decade when adjusted for inflation, the number of these workers is expected to expand by 70% between 2010 and 2010—making it the fastest-growing job in the country, according to the Department of Labor.
“The trade is exploding as the country ages and Medicaid focuses on keeping people out of nursing homes and other facilities,” says Bloomberg. “That saves money, and requires an army of caregivers… who are helping fill the growing ranks of the working poor.”
Read the full article at Bloomberg.
Written by Alyssa Gerace