WSJ: Home Health Care Helps Lead NYC’s Employment Recovery

Home health care, among other industries with lower-paying positions, continues to be a force pushing New York City’s employment toward recovery, writes The Wall Street Journal in a recent article

Jobs in the home health care services industry have jumped 55.7% since 2009, with 108,200 people in the field as of September. At least three factors are at play: an aging population, an increasing desire to be taken care of at home, and hospitals’ emphasis on quicker discharges.

The lower-paying health aide jobs, which require relatively little training, continue to attract applicants. Less educated workers account for nearly 49% of the total health care workforce in the nation’s largest metro areas. 

While individuals with less than a bachelor’s degree (“pre-baccalaureate”) work in multiple health care occupations, they are heavily concentrated in a subset of positions including nursing, psychiatric and home health aides, registered nurses, personal care aides and licensed practical nurses

About half of personal care aides and nursing, psychiatric and home health aides have a high school diploma or less, and post median annual earnings of $21,000 and $25,000, respectively.

These lower-paying pre-baccalaureate health care occupations account for the bulk of growth in this job sector, particularly occupations of personal care aides, whose numbers rose by nearly 400,000 between 2000 and 2009-11. 

While the industry has jobs for higher-paid nurses, experienced people are hard to come by, Elliot Brooks, senior vice president of human resources at MJHS, tells the WSJ. MJHS is a health care organization whose services include home care and pediatric and adult hospice.

In addition to home health care, other lower-paying positions also continue to be a force in the city’s employment picture. 

With the broader retail sector, department-store employment has risen by 31% over the past five years — to 29,400. That growth is largely traceable to discount or lower-priced department stores, said James Brown, principal economist with the New York state Department of Labor.

Employment at restaurants and bars expanded 34% between September 2009 and September 2014, reaching 275,800. 

While much of the job growth in New York City has come from lower-wage jobs in industries such as food services, retail and health care, the increase in technology-related positions has helped offset losses in other high-paying areas such as financial services.

Google Inc.’s NYC presence has more than doubled since 2009, with more than 4,000 employees, about half of whom are software engineers.

“New York has gone from a standing start to comparison to Silicon Valley,” said Michael Moynihan, chief economist with the city’s Economic Development Corp. “And it’s not just a technology story, but technology used in so many other sectors.”

To read the full WSJ story, click here

Written by Emily Study

Emily Study

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