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Understanding Direct Care Workers: A Snapshot of Two of America’s Most Important Jobs

January 1, 2011

This chart book highlights findings from two national surveys: the 2004 National Nursing Assistant Survey and the 2007 National Home Health Aide Survey. Both surveys represent a major advance in the data available about two of America’s most important jobs − certified nursing assistants working in nursing homes and home health aides working in home and hospice care settings.

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Key Takeaways

Most direct care workers have limited education and income, and high level of public assistance program use.
Immigrants represent a large labor pool with the potential to help alleviate labor shortages in long-term care.
High proportions of long-term care workers must balance employment with substantial family care giving obligations.

Caring for the Future

Our new policy report takes an extensive look at today's direct care workforce—in five installments.

Workforce Data Center

From wages to employment statistics, find the latest data on the direct care workforce.