Are you tired of me writing about how all Nevada’s dreary jobs are not going to be replaced by dreamy jobs so we need to focus on making dreary jobs a lot less dreary instead of spending all our time pretending that education can fix every stinking thing?
Fine. I’ll write about how the same goes for the nation as a whole.
First, here’s your list of the top ten jobs projected to grow the most in the United States through 2024:
Do you now or did you ever have a parent? Are you currently old? Do you now someone who is? Do you envision a scenario in which you yourself might be old some day? If the answer to any of those questions is “yes” then that helps explain the three occupations projected to grow the most.
Nursing – now there’s a “good” job. As for the other two…
Demand for both personal care aides and home health aides is driven mostly by old people, be they in their own homes or in some dreamy/dreary group retirement complex. The difference between the two occupations, as categorized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics anyway, is that “health aides may provide routine medical care in addition to daily living assistance, but personal care aides cannot provide medical care.” Both services might be provided by the same company.
According to the CDC, more than 80 percent of home care agencies are for-profit, and the primary revenue model for virtually every one of them is Medicare.
Needless to say the industry is always asking Dean Heller and his colleagues on the Senate Finance Committee for more money with less strings.
Reports have also found the industry delivers poorer quality at higher costs than non-profit Medicare providers. “Letting for-profit companies into Medicare was a huge mistake that Congress needs to correct,” said an author of one of those reports.
Prediction! Your Republican-controlled Congress isn’t going to correct that, because Republicans believe that the private sector is always the most efficient and prettiest too no matter what the evidence says.
The home care workforce is overwhelmingly female and usually women of color; home health aide is reportedly the most common job for African American women in the U.S.
The median wage (shown in the chart above) for home health aides and personal care aides is about $10 an hour. That means half the people in those jobs make less than that.
Another prediction! Home health/personal aide wages and working conditions will not be something that anyone cares about very much. Instead, our “thought leaders” will focus on which education and training programs will best assure that when children grow up they don’t have to take low-pay low-quality jobs.
Politicians love that approach, by the way. It enables them to pretend that all the low-paying jobs will just wither away, so they don’t have to talk seriously about something they’d rather not talk seriously about like, oh, making their friends in the private sector pay a living wage.
But those jobs aren’t going to wither away. They’re going to grow the most. And barring a dramatic swing in the needle of public opinion, society will refuse to value those jobs and the women who fill them.
So one more prediction: History will record that we suck.