A new report from PHI offers a snapshot of the direct care workforce in the U.S. Among the findings:
- The direct care workforce has rapidly expanded over the last decade, going from 3.1 million workers in 2010 to 4.6 million in 2020. This workforce sector is expected to add another 1.3 million new jobs by 2029.
- Despite high demand for direct care workers, their wages remain low, with a median hourly wage of $13.56 in 2020 and median annual earnings of just $20,200.
- 44% of direct care workers live in low-income households, and 25% rely on some form of public assistance such as Medicaid, nutrition assistance, or cash assistance.
- Nearly 9 in 10 home care workers are women, and 34% are 55 or older, compared to 23% of the overall U.S. labor force.
- People of color make up 63% of all home care workers. Immigrants make up 31% of this workforce.
- 81% of residential care aides are women, and 53% are people of color.
- More than 9 in 10 nursing assistants are women, with a median age of 38. Nearly one in five are aged 16 to 24, compared to 14% of the total U.S. labor force.