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Here’s How We Achieve a Strong Economy: Invest in Direct Care Workers

Brief
November 21, 2017
Here’s How We Achieve a Strong Economy: Invest in Direct Care Workers

In the last 10 years, the long-term care industry created 1.5 million jobs. Most of this job growth was due to the rising demand for direct care workers spurred by the growth in the population of older adults. From 2016 to 2026, an additional 1.8 million jobs will be created in the long-term care sector, including 1.2 million direct care jobs. This growing demand for direct care workers means that job creation in the U.S. will increasingly be driven by the need for hands-on support for older adults and people with disabilities. However, direct care jobs compensate workers poorly and leave many in poverty. If these issues are not addressed, growth in these jobs may contribute to greater financial instability for American families. This data brief posits that to meet new demand for care and to ensure a strong economy, we need to improve the quality of direct care jobs.

Key Takeaways

From 2007 to 2017, the long-term care industry added 1.5 million jobs, including more than one million direct care jobs.
From 2016 to 2026, the long-term care industry is projected to add 1.8 million jobs, including 1.2 million direct care jobs.
The home care workforce—which will grow by more than one million new jobs—will contribute the most to the job growth in long-term care.
 
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