Young Adults Make Up 16% Of Direct Care Workforce

At some home health care companies, millennials are becoming the majority of the workforce—but younger workers make up just 16% of the direct care workforce overall.

That’s according to data from PHI, a worker advocacy organization focused on the direct care workforce. The organization analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data to produce the fact sheet “Younger Workers and the Direct Care Workforce,” breaking down the demographic profile of this group.

Direct care workers between 18 and 24 years of age are more likely to be living below the poverty line than their older colleagues. Unsurprisingly, they are also much more likely to be enrolled in education, while fewer of them are people of color, immigrants, or women.


The trends suggest some recruitment strategies that home care companies and other long-term care providers should consider to succeed in employing this generation. Doing so could be crucial to overcoming a shortage of caregivers reaching crisis proportions.

Partnering with schools and colleges is a wise move, PHI recommended. In addition, providers should consider linking training programs to guaranteed employment, and offer financial advice on topics such as paying off debt.


Communicating through text message is another tip from PHI. It’s a move that Heritage Senior Living—a Wisconsin-based provider of independent living, assisted living, and memory care—has found effective.

Dallas-based Encompass Health (NYSE: EHC) is a believer in engaging with millennials on social media, particularly via smartphones. Millennials make up 27% of the overall workforce for the company, which has 230 locations across 25 states.

While the PHI stats focused on direct care workers, providers such as Assisting Hands Home Care are also finding success in hiring millennials at the corporate level.

Direct care provider companies are doing a better job than the employers overall in attracting younger workers. People aged 18 to 24 make up about 13% of the entire U.S. labor force, according to the PHI fact sheet.

Written by Tim Mullaney

Companies featured in this article:

, ,