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Huge Growth Projected for Direct-Care Occupations, DOL Report Shows

March 1, 2012

The U.S. Department of Labor has released its employment projections for 2010 to 2020, and the numbers related to direct-care workers are staggering.

Direct-care workers are projected to increase in number by nearly 50 percent over the coming decade, adding 1.5 million new jobs. Of these jobs, 1.3 million will be in home care.

In fact, home care occupations, known by the occupational titles of Personal Care Aides and Home Care Aides, are projected to be the first and second fastest-growing occupations nationally in the next decade.

Personal Care Aides are projected to increase by 70 percent, and Home Health Aides by 69 percent. Additionally, Home Health Aides and Personal Care Aides are ranked third and fourth, respectively, in the number of new jobs projected to be added over this time period.

By contrast, jobs overall in the U.S. economy are projected to increase by only 14 percent.

Additionally, the two industries in which home care workers are employed — Services for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities (SEPD) and Home Health Care Services — top the list of the fastest growing industries, with expected growth of 87 and 81 percent, respectively, over the coming decade.

— by Abby Marquand, PHI Policy Research Associate

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