Despite recruitment and retention remaining an industry-wide pain point, home care positions have become a major component of job growth in New York.

That’s according to a recent report from the New York City Independent Budget Office (IBO), a publicly funded agency that provides nonpartisan information about New York City’s budget and tax revenues.

Released last week, the report zeros in on New York’s economy and uses employment and labor force data to examine trends in local employment. The IBO report is based on data from monthly surveys of local employers that span from 2010 through 2017.

In New York, home care accounted for two out of every five new private-sector jobs in 2017 — and two out of three in 2018. In fact, New York outpaced the rest of the U.S., with 27,100 home health care jobs added in New York compared to 24,300 in the entire rest of the nation. This figure also includes home care jobs that fall outside of traditional home care agencies, such as family members who serve as caretakers and are reimbursed through the state by Medicaid.

The boom in local home health employment was mainly driven by the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP), a statewide Medicaid program that allows eligible seniors to choose their home care providers who are paid through Medicaid.

“CDPAP has helped fill a gap in areas where aide shortages exist or to fulfill unmet needs in providing care to special populations … driving some of the growth,” Roger Noyes, spokesman for the Home Care Association of New York State, told Home Health Care News in an email.

Findings from the IBO report support the idea that home care services employment outpaces the growth in the city’s aging population.

Overall, New York City averaged growth of close to 100,000 jobs annually.

This surge of home care jobs may change, however, as CDPAP will soon undergo a major state-led overhaul, according to Noyes.

“It is unclear whether the trends outlined in this report will sustain into future years,” he said. “Specifically, the recently passed New York State budget has changed the reimbursement system for CDPAP. It also leads to changes in the makeup of provider-based fiscal intermediaries who oversee these services in conjunction with Managed Long Term Care plans.”

On a national level, home health aides and personal care aides rank third and fourth as the fastest growing occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. To meet consumer demand, an estimated 778,000 personal care aides and 431,000 home health aides will need to enter the workforce throughout the next decade.

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