Giving Caregivers a Raise: The Impact of a $15 Wage Floor in the Home Care Industry

Thousands of home care workers have taken to the streets in recent months, adding their voices to the growing call for a $15 hourly wage and a union. Home care workers, who provide critical in-home support to older adults and people with disabilities, make a compelling case for a higher wage standard. Like the fast-food industry where the campaign for $15 originated, home care is growing at a rapid rate but remains marred by poverty-level wages. Low wages have profound implications beyond the workers and their families, driving alarmingly high turnover and burnout, jeopardizing critical services, and straining the home care system just as more and more Americans come to rely on its services.

Stabilizing the home care system through higher wages and better conditions is not only fair; it eases worker reliance on public benefits and allows recipients of home care services to stay in their homes and out of more costly institutional care. And when low-wage workers like home care workers experience a wage hike, they spend most of that increase on basic necessities like food, housing, and clothing, contributing to their local economies and spurring economic growth. A $15 wage for home care workers is the right thing to do—for the workers and their communities, for the people they care for, and for our economy.

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