The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that the aging population in the United States will lead to the creation of an estimated 1.6 million new eldercare-related jobs by 2024.
According to the BLS, by 2024, nearly 70 million Americans will be between 60 and 78 years old. The percentage of people 65 and older is expected to be 23 percent, a significant increase from 2014 (18.1 percent) and 2004 (15.5 percent).
Healthcare positions related to eldercare are expected to account for one in six news jobs created in the U.S. economy through 2024.
These jobs include:
- Home health aides – assist older patients and those who live at home with disabilities with bathing, housekeeping, meal preparation and other routine tasks. They also assist with medical services, such as checking vital signs and administering medicines.
- Personal care aides – assist with daily routine tasks at home, but are not qualified to provide medical care.
- Nursing assistants – provide basic care in nursing homes, assisted-care facilities and hospitals.
- Licensed practical nurses – provide basic nursing care under the direction of physicians, nurse practitioners and registered nurses.
- Licensed vocational nurses – provide basic nursing care under the direction of physicians, nurse practitioners and registered nurses.
- Registered nurses – RNs provide medical care and administer care in hospitals, clinics, private residences and as part of coordinated care performed by home health aides, personal care aides, licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses.
The greatest eldercare job growth is anticipated in the area of personal care aides, with an estimated 458,000 new jobs to be added by 2024. RNs are the next-fastest growing profession, with 439,300 jobs expected to be added by 2024.
The American Nurses Association estimates that attrition through retirement and an increasing demand related to the aging of the general population will contribute to a major shortage of nurses in the next decade-plus. In 2014, the ANA estimated that at least 1.1 million additional nurses would be required to meet demand in the U.S. by 2022.