According to the Independent Budget Office (IBO), New York City has been creating an average of 100,000 jobs each year since 2010. This may seem like great news to celebrate, but a significant portion of those jobs have been relatively low-paying. In fact, more than one quarter of those jobs added in the past year involved home care, which has notoriously been a lower paying job.
A key factor in job growth within the home care industry has been demand. As more people rely on basic support to remain at home, home care aides are in increasing demand, though high turnover and not enough workers to fill these positions continues to be a problem, especially with stagnant wages.
A major factor for these continued depressed wages involve the fact the majority of them are paid by the government, which actually cut reimbursement rates for in-home health care to help pay for the Affordable Care Act of 2010.
As reported by Crain’s New York Business in the blog, A low-paying industry is driving city job growth, written by Greg David:
“The IBO [Independent Budget Office] found a similar New York centric trend in professional employer organizations, which provide HR management services to companies while often co-employing the workers for the purpose of administration and benefits. While these jobs nearly doubled between the end of 2016 and mid 2018 to almost 40,000 here, the sector declined in the rest of the nation.
What is are the implications of these trends? Home care health workers are paid primarily by government, making them one of the causes of the increase in public spending. But the growth in professional employer organizations suggests a thriving small-business sector in professional and technical companies.”
It’s no secret by now that raising wages would help to secure more consistent and experienced care in the home for elderly and disabled clients who need it, but the major question is how to pay those increased salaries or wages. If increases are not secured at the federal and state level through Medicaid, then it falls on the lap of individuals to try and pay for this.
Many of the seniors and disabled adults who require these services may not be able to pay agencies more than they already are, which leaves these workers on the lower end of the pay scale. In a place like New York City, it is extremely difficult to find reasonable housing, afford food, utilities, and all of the other amenities at stagnantly low pay.