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Argentum Reports Strong Growth in Senior Living Industry in 2016

August 19, 2016 | James Balda

senior-living-workforce.jpgArgentum is a strong advocate for senior living and we’re constantly working to address the workforce issues that are most pressing to the industry. A strong and robust workforce of qualified employees is the heart of senior living and of critical importance to Argentum and the members it serves. Because of that, we’ve made a focused effort to measure and monitor the health of the senior living workforce over the years.

07.16-State_of_the_Senior_Living_Workforce_Report-Argentum-OnShift.pngTo shed some light on how the senior living workforce is performing, Argentum analyzed Bureau of Labor Statistics data collected during the first quarter of 2016. The results of that analysis are part of our new report: “State of the Senior Living Workforce,” which focuses on trends in employment, hours, and wages during that time.

Our analysis shows that the senior living industry continues its strong performance and has been an engine for job growth in the U.S. economy in recent years--even when other industries were shedding jobs. The nation’s post-Great Recession employment climb began in March 2010. Since then, the industry has added 157,000 jobs – an increase of nearly 22 percent.

Other significant findings from the report include:

  • Job growth registered in the fourth quarter of 2015 represented the smallest increase since mid-2014. The senior living industry bounced back with a stronger gain in the first quarter of 2016, adding more than double the jobs added in the fourth quarter of 2015.
  • The home health care industry continues to register the strongest job growth and strongest wage growth in recent quarters among related industries.
  • The average workweek of employees in the senior living industry trended slightly higher in recent quarters — a sharp contrast to recent trends in the overall private sector. Senior living industry employees worked an average of 31.6 hours per week during the first quarter of 2016.
  • Average hourly earnings of senior living employees increased at more than three percent between the first quarters of 2015 and 2016; that increase represents the industry’s strongest four-quarter wage growth since the fourth quarter of 2007.

It’s an exciting and challenging time in the senior living industry. As the need for workers grows, the importance of engaging and retaining senior care employees becomes even greater. Argentum will continue to research and provide you with the best information to help you develop your workforce and provide quality care for residents.

We’d like to thank OnShift for partnering with Argentum in this research and for recognizing the value of senior living employees, as well as the need for a critical focus on developing the industry’s workforce.

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About James Balda

James Balda is a guest author for OnShift’s blog and the President and CEO of Argentum, the largest national association exclusively dedicated to senior living communities and the seniors and families they serve.

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