(Alexandria, Va.)—The senior living employee is the industry’s most important asset and knowing who makes up that workforce is critical to its success. Nearly 1 million people serve in positions across senior living and that workforce is expected to grow to 1.2 million by 2026. As the industry needs to recruit and retain an additional 300,000 employees, understanding the social and economic profile of today’s senior living employees may assist providers in making critical decisions that affect their overall operations.
“In order to build awareness of senior living as a viable career path, we need to know who is currently working in our industry and understand their opportunities and challenges,” said James Balda, Argentum president & CEO. “By analyzing available data, we are able to provide a snapshot of the senior living workforce and share the latest insight into the backgrounds of our valued employees.”
Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey (ACS), Argentum analyzed figures on over 7,000 individuals who self-identified as working in senior living. The ACS is the largest household survey administered by the Census Bureau, sampling 3.5 million households annually. While it is well-documented that women make up the majority of the senior living workforce, Argentum’s analysis revealed that women also hold the majority of management jobs with a nearly 70 percent share. The percentage of black women in those management positions is also greater than that represented in the overall national labor force. Younger employees age 16-24 also made up nearly one-quarter of food service workers, likely due to part-time employment opportunities for students enrolled in high school and college.
“It’s more important than ever that we continue to build relationships with educational institutions at every level, to reach a diverse and talented pool of individuals who could comprise the next generation of the senior living workforce,” said Balda. “It’s imperative that we also actively engage and support the employees we have, as they can serve as the industry’s biggest champions.”
A portion of Argentum’s analysis is available in the Argentum Senior Living Employee white paper, a complimentary resource. An expanded employee profile with more details on geographical, economic, and social trends is available to Argentum members in Argentum Quarterly Issue 1 2018; members can download the full report at argentum.org/aq.
Argentum is the leading national association exclusively dedicated to supporting companies operating professionally managed, resident-centered senior living communities and the older adults and families they serve. Argentum member companies operate senior living communities offering assisted living, independent living, continuing care, and memory care services to older adults and their families. Since 1990, Argentum has advocated for choice, independence, dignity, and quality of life for all older adults. Learn more at argentum.org.
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