Direct-Care Workers at a Glance

Direct-care workers provide an estimated 70 to 80 percent of the paid hands-on services and supports received by persons with disabilities or chronic care needs. These workers help consumers bathe, dress, and eat, among other daily tasks. They are a lifeline for those they serve, as well as for families struggling to provide quality care.

Demographic Characteristics

Female: 89%
Male: 11%

Average Age
All direct-care workers: 42
In nursing facilities: 40
In home health care: 44
Self-employed or working directly for private households: 48

White, non-hispanic: 47%
African American, non-Hispanic: 30%
Spanish, Hispanic or Latino: 16%

Immigration Status
Foreign born: 23%

High school diploma or less: 55%
Some college or advanced degree: 45%

Head of household
Single parent: 20%

Employment & Income Characteristics

Employment Status
Employed full-time year round: 52%
Employed part-time or full-time part of the year: 48%

Median Annual Earnings
(accounting for part-time hours)
All direct-care workers: $16,800
Personal & home care aides: $12,300
Nursing, psychiatric & home health aides: $19,000

Health Insurance Status
All direct-care workers, uninsured: 28%
Uninsured in nursing care facilities: 26%
Uninsured in home health care services: 37%

Family Poverty Status & Reliance on Public Benefits
Workers under 100% of the federal poverty line: 16%
Workers in households relying on public benefits: 46%

*PHI analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2010 Annual Social & Economic (ASEC) Supplement, with statistical programming and data analysis provided by Carlos Figueiredo.

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