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The Part-Time Dilemma for Direct Care Workers

Brief Wages & Benefits
March 23, 2018
The Part-Time Dilemma for Direct Care Workers

Direct care workers need to earn enough to support themselves and their families. While a living wage would help, these workers also need sufficient hours and consistent schedules. By analyzing national survey data, we found that one in every three direct care workers works part time—in many cases because they cannot obtain full-time hours. Others work part time due to competing responsibilities, such as raising children, helping other family members, or attending school. These findings underscore the need to develop strategies—including scheduling systems and employment supports—to more effectively deploy the existing workforce, as a critical step toward addressing the direct care workforce shortage.

Key Takeaways

One in three direct care workers works part-time hours, and home care workers are more likely to work part time than nursing assistants.
It is critical that employers facilitate more full-time opportunities for direct care workers.
Many direct care workers work part time—voluntarily or not—to provide care for their families.

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