US News: Immigrants Help Address Healthcare Worker Shortages

Posted on: February 18th, 2013
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From US News and World Report:

As of 2010, the most recent year for available data, there were 3.4 million U.S. direct care workers, according to the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute. Direct care workers include personal care attendants, nursing assistants, and other similar positions. That number is expected to increase to 4.3 million by 2018, driven in large part by at-home workers and personal care workers, which are both expected to grow by around 50 percent, according to a report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. The report, which focuses on women in the direct care workforce, finds that immigrants make up 28 percent of all in-home healthcare workers, and that more than 20 percent of all immigrants employed in direct care are illegal.

The report concludes immigrants are solving a labor shortage, filling jobs that would otherwise go unfilled, a problem that will only get worse as the number of people needing care, whether elderly or disabled, grows.

“In the face of this labor shortage, a growing immigrant population in the United States has stepped up to fill a substantial portion of care work jobs,” the authors write.