Direct care provides an economic boost to many parts of country, urban and rural. In Detroit, even during its worst economic crisis from 2005 to 2010, when total employment in the region fell by 16 percent, direct care worker employment increased by 14 percent, adding more than 5,000 jobs to the economy. And as the population of older adults in Detroit continues to grow over the coming decade, demand for direct care workers will increase more than for any other occupation. However, while this workforce is vital to the local economy, wages for these Detroit workers are low enough to place most direct care workers in the bottom quartile of wage earners in the region. The largely unstable and often part-time nature of this work means many workers grapple with poverty.
Caring for the Future
Our new policy report takes an extensive look at today's direct care workforce—in five installments.