The nation’s home care workforce has more than doubled in size over the past decade, and rapid growth will continue as the population ages. But home care jobs are underpaid, physically and emotionally demanding, and often involve unpredictable hours. As a result, even before the pandemic, the home care field suffered from high turnover and severe labor shortages.
In New York State, as many as 260,000 new home care job openings will open statewide between 2022 and 2032 due to rising demand. But low wages and poor work conditions mean that many of these jobs will see high turnover or remain unfilled altogether.
Isaac Jabola-Carolus and Ruth Milkman and I have shown that public investment in higher pay for home care would mitigate these challenges: substantial wage increases would attract more workers to the field, help to alleviate shortages, and allow older adults and people with disabilities to live in their own homes instead of institutions. New analysis, presented in this new research brief, reveals further potential impacts of such an investment. By ensuring higher wages in home care, the State can create thousands of high-quality jobs for women, people of color, and immigrants.