Assisted Living Wages Grow at Quick Pace

Average hourly earnings for assisted living workers increased 4.1% between the third quarter of 2015 and third quarter of 2016, outpacing wage growth in other senior housing settings and the private sector as a whole.

For senior housing generally, average hourly earnings rose at a 2.7% rate in that 2015-2016 time period, according to a recently released analysis from Argentum. The provider association crunched Bureau of Labor Statistics’ numbers for the “State of the Senior Living Workforce” report, which was sponsored by OnShift.

Earnings in assisted living increased at a faster clip than in continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) or skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), but grew more slowly than home health wages.

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In terms of job growth, the senior living industry saw job growth increase at a 1.9% rate between Q3 2015 and Q3 2016.

Assisted living job growth of 2.5% was on pace with the restaurant/accommodations industry, which saw 2.4% job growth.

Skilled nursing, which has been facing labor market pressures among other serious headwinds, posted a 0.3% rate of job growth.

“The modest job growth is a continuation of a several-year trend for the skilled nursing sector,” the report states. “Between 2010 and 2015, employment in the skilled nursing sector declined at an average annual rate of 0.1 percent.”

Senior living employees also are clocking more hours per week, while the average workweek for private sector employees overall has declined over the past few quarters, the findings show.

Written by Tim Mullaney

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