US Labor Statistics signal higher costs and more difficulty for hiring managers – and consumers. Home health care will be especially hard-hit.
The Scope of Our Needs
“Help Wanted: The gap between job openings and the number of people looking for work continues to grow as birthrates fall and more workers retire. Employers say they need more immigrants for their businesses to function, let alone grow. ‘Without immigration, we shrink as a nation.’ – The New York Times“
Let’s explore the underlying labor statistics. “Currently, there are 32 working-age adults for every adult over 85. By 2050, that number will plummet to 12. Women ages 25 to 64 make up 73 percent of the home care workforce. Only 2 million of them will enter the labor force in the next decade, compared to 6.3 million in the previous decade.
Obviously, in spite of the growth in demand 2014 to 2024, the pool of likely home care worker applicants will be considerably smaller than in the previous decade.” (This information excerpted from PHI)
Why are These Labor Statistics so Upside Down?
If the home care workforce is to grow, jobs will need to be more competitive, offering higher wages and improved working conditions.
We older adults are advocating for our right to live independently throughout our life span. It’s critical that we also advocate for those who labor as caregivers. Why? Many of us do or will provide unpaid support for family members. If you’ve experienced this, you know how difficult and stressful it can be. At some point, we’ll each need help ourselves.
Unpaid family members often neglect their own health and finances. On the other hand, contracted helpers most often work erratic hours, less than full time, have no health insurance benefits themselves and live below the poverty level. We can do better than this. We must improve many aspects of age at home care management now, in advance of our need for direct service.
You Can & Will Impact Labor Statistics
Now that you’ve read this, as you’re sitting pretty with your feet up on Labor Day, why not honor the caregiver workforce by perusing “60 Caregiver Issues”. Take a peek at solutions already proposed and working. Family Caregivers, select this link from AARP; answer three questions and get information targeted to your needs. Your demanding and hard work is very much appreciated. Happy Labor Day to all.