An aging population receiving help at home with personal care needs is fueling the growth of the job of home care aide, which is one of the most rapidly growing jobs in the U.S. right now, according to a report by Bloomberg Business Week.
The nearly 1 million personal care aides counted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012 generally provide assistance with activities of daily living for the elderly and disabled, allowing them to remain in their homes. This figure doesn’t include an additional 800,000 personal care workers who work as independent contractors, reports PHI (formerly known as the Paraprofessional Health Institute).
Even though wages for personal care assistants fell 5 percent in the past decade when adjusted for inflation, the number of these workers is expected to expand by 70 percent between 2010 and 2020—making it the fastest-growing job in the country, according to the Department of Labor.
“The trade is exploding as the country ages and Medicaid focuses on keeping people out of nursing homes and other facilities,” says Bloomberg. “That saves money, and requires an army of caregivers… who are helping fill the growing ranks of the working poor.”