The number of home health aides employed on a temporary basis is expected to increase significantly over the next four years, outpacing almost all other temporary occupations, according to recently released findings.
Home health aide is the fastest growing temporary occupation among those paying a median wage less than $15 per hour, Forbes reported Tuesday, citing CareerBuilder data. Between 2014 and 2019, the number of temporary home health aides is projected to increase by 15%. This beats the 14% growth expected for temporary occupations such as gaming dealers and childcare workers, and is above the 13% projected growth rate for temporary employment as a whole.
In fact, the only temporary occupation that is expected to grow faster than home health aide is computer systems analyst, at 19%.
The CareerBuilder numbers support those from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI) and other organizations. They consistently find that home health aide and personal care aide are among the fastest growing occupations in the country — but these workers also are routinely among the lowest paid in these rankings.
Home health aides earn a median hourly wage of $10.12, according to CareerBuilder. This compares with $39.15 for computer systems analysts and $32.60 for registered nurses. The number of temp RNs is expected to grow 14% by 2019, tying it for No. 2 among the fastest-growing occupations paying more than $15 per hour.
PHI and other worker advocacy associations have launched efforts to increase home care worker wages. Despite the rapid growth in the number of direct care workers, both permanent and temporary, turnover also is high, leading some activists to say that fundamental changes are needed to ensure a stable workforce that can meet future needs.
While an aging population will drive demand for home care workers, including those who work on a temporary or contract basis, the general trend toward more temporary hiring also continues to gain steam. This is occurring even as the economy recovers and fewer people are seeking stop-gap jobs after being laid off, Forbes noted. There currently are about 3 million temporary workers nationally, which represents a dramatic 57% increase between 2009 and 2014.
“Temporary employment will continue on an upward trajectory as companies look for ways to quickly adapt to market dynamics,” stated Eric Gilpin, president of CareerBuilder’s Staffing & Recruiting and Healthcare divisions, in a press release. “Two in five U.S. employers expect to hire temporary or contract workers this year, which opens new doors for workers who want to build relationships with different organizations and explore career options.”
The CareerBuilder report is based on data from 90 state and national employment resources, and was compiled in association with the company’s labor market analysis arm, Economic Modeling Specialists Intl.
Click here to access the complete report.
Written by Tim Mullaney