America's Direct-Care Workforce

Source: Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI), PHI Facts 3, May 2012

From the summary:
By 2020, the direct-care workforce — nursing assistants, home health aides, and personal care aides — is projected to be the nation’s largest workforce at 5 million workers, according to a new PHI analysis available in PHI FACTS 3: America’s Direct-Care Workforce (pdf).

Home care jobs — both home health aide and personal care aide positions — are the nation’s fastest-growing jobs, projected to increase over the decade 2010-2020 at an astounding 69 and 71 percent, respectively. Nursing aide, orderly, and attendant positions are expected to increase by 20 percent. Together these jobs will add an additional 1.6 million jobs to the economy.

Comprising nearly a third (30.6 percent) of the entire U.S. health care workforce, direct-care workers far outnumber other health care practitioners, including physicians, nurses, and therapists. These workers also outnumber all those employed in allied health occupations, such as medical and dental assistants, and physical therapy assistants and aides, by nearly three to one.

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