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ANALYSIS: Personal Care Aide Wages Continue to Decline

November 24, 2014

Wages for personal care aides (PCAs) declined between 2003 and 2013 in most states, a newly updated PHI analysis of PCA wages found.

The national median wage for PCAs was $9.67 in 2013 — down from an inflation-adjusted median wage of $10.13 in 2003, according to the latest PHI State Chart Book on Wages for Personal Care Aides.

In total, 37 states as well as Washington, DC saw decreases in median wages over the course of the last decade.

In nine states, wages dropped by 10 percent or more, led by Rhode Island, which saw a 26.7 percent decline.

Meanwhile, just seven states saw real PCA wages increase by five percent or more from 2003 to 2013, “suggesting the slow progress that states generally have made in improving the competitiveness of PCA wages in low‐wage labor markets,” the chart book shows.

“These trends are disturbing,” said PHI Director of Policy Research Abby Marquand. “The demand for personal care aides is expected to surpass that of nearly every other job over the next 10 years. With wages falling, it is going to be exceedingly difficult to recruit the workforce we need.

“We can’t afford to continue undervaluing their labor,” she concluded.

PHI used information from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics to compile the analysis, which provides a state-by-state look at PCA wages over the last decade.

— by Matthew Ozga

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