- Biden’s infrastructure spending plan includes $400 billion for elderly and disabled care.
- Insider looked at the typical pay of five different caregiving jobs.
- Home health and personal care aides made a median salary of $27,080 in May 2020.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Caregivers, like home health aides and personal care aides, are a big component of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan.
But many of the people responsible for caring for America’s most vulnerable make less than the median annual salary of all occupations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program provides May 2020 data for almost 800 different detailed occupations.
Insider decided to look at five different kinds of jobs that provide care to children, disabled Americans, and the elderly to see how much these jobs typically pay.
For our set of care jobs we looked at caregivers, childcare workers, and various nurses and medical professionals who may provide basic care in addition to other responsibilities. For instance, we included licensed practical nurses whose duties range from checking blood pressure to helping the elderly or other patients eat.
The following chart highlights the median annual salaries of five different kinds of caregiving jobs:
Four of the five occupations in the chart made less than the median annual salary of all occupations in May 2020 of $41,950.
Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses made a median annual salary of $48,820, the highest pay among the selected caregiving occupations we looked at. There were 676,440 licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses in May 2020 with a large number of these workers in nursing care facilities.
There were over 3.2 million home health and personal care aides in May 2020 with a median annual salary of $27,080 per data from BLS. BLS notes that personal care aides are sometimes referred to as caregivers or personal attendants and a lot of these workers work at patients’ homes to help assist them with daily tasks.
The American Jobs Plan includes $400 billion for “expanding access to quality, affordable home- or community-based care for aging relatives and people with disabilities,” according to a White House press release about The American Jobs Plan.
The press release adds that this includes “offering caregiving workers a long-overdue raise,” citing that home caregivers currently make a $12 hourly wage. Insider’s Patricia Kelly Yeo wrote that the $12 rate refers to home care workers of home health aides, nursing assistants, and personal care aides.
Childcare workers typically make $25,460, and 494,360 were employed in May 2020. Biden’s infrastructure plan includes investing $25 billion toward upgrading childcare facilities and adding more in places that need these services.
Politico notes that the American Jobs Plan, or the first part of the infrastructure proposal, doesn’t include an increase in wages for childcare workers mentioned in his campaign, but that could be included in the second part. Insider’s Joseph Zeballos-Roig and Juliana Kaplan reported that this second plan is called the American Families Plan and will focus on social infrastructure, including childcare reform.
The billions of dollars in spending aimed at improving the care economy could add millions of jobs. Insider’s Juliana Kaplan wrote that the combined $775 billion for childcare, home healthcare, and residential care could create 5.3 million jobs in 18 states over a decade according to research from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Additionally, the billions in spending would be beneficial for women in the workplace; the White House press release notes caregivers are disproportionately made up of women of color.
“These investments will help hundreds of thousands of Americans finally obtain the long-term services and support they need, while creating new jobs and offering caregiving workers a long-overdue raise, stronger benefits, and an opportunity to organize or join a union and collectively bargain,” the White House said in a press release about how this plan can benefit caregivers.