New York’s home health workforce has continued its pattern of extraordinary growth, increasing by 62,000 jobs or 12 percent in a single year, according to newly released data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

The state was home to 566,000 home health and personal care aides as of May 2023, up from 504,000 the year before, according BLS’s Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, an annual survey posted this week.

That equates to 159 aides per 1,000 residents over 65, the highest rate in the U.S.

 

The one-year increase of 62,000 was more than double the number in any other state – and accounted for a third of nationwide growth in the category.

Within New York, home health aides represented more than one-fifth of the 284,000 total jobs added statewide during the year. They remained the largest job category in the state, outnumbering retail salespersons by more than 2-1.

 

The scale of New York’s home health industry – most of which is financed by the government-funded Medicaid health plan – is a sticking point in negotiations over the state budget, which have continued past the April 1 start of the fiscal year. 

Governor Hochul has called for curtailing spending on home-based long-term care, but her proposals face opposition from industry groups, advocates for the disabled and their allies in the Legislature.

The BLS data shows that New York’s overall health-care workforce grew to 1.3 million workers in 2023, about 14 percent of all jobs in the state. That was a one-year increase of 74,000 or 6 percent, about twice the average rate for all occupations statewide. It’s also 146,000 jobs or 12 percent larger than it was in May 2019, the last survey before the pandemic.

The bulk of that increase occurred in “healthcare support occupations,” which includes home health aides, with a one-year increase of 10 percent or 70,000 jobs. The category of “healthcare practitioners and technical occupations” – which includes doctors, nurses and other licensed caregivers – saw a one-year increase of 1 percent or 4,000 jobs.

The study showed a one-year decrease of 2,000 jobs or 1 percent among registered nurses, the second-largest health-care occupation and the fifth-largest overall. However, the total of 188,000 R.N.s was still 5 percent higher than before Covid-19 struck.

 

About the Author

Bill Hammond

As the Empire Center’s senior fellow for health policy, Bill Hammond tracks fast-moving developments in New York’s massive health care industry, with a focus on how decisions made in Albany and Washington affect the well-being of patients, providers, taxpayers and the state’s economy.

Read more by Bill Hammond

You may also like

How a Medicaid ‘Cut’ Could Lead to More Unionization of Home Care Aides

A money-saving maneuver in the newly enacted Medicaid budget could end up increasing costs in the long term – by paving the way for more unionization of the state's burgeoning home health workforce. Read More

Budget Deal Slows Medicaid Growth But Plants Seeds for Future Spending

The growth of New York's Medicaid spending is projected to slow but not stop as Governor Hochul and the Legislature effectively split their differences over health care in the newly enacted state budget. Read More

Albany’s New Health Insurance Tax Comes with Few Limits

The newly enacted state budget imposes a multibillion-dollar tax on health insurance without specifying who must pay how much – leaving those basic details to be decided later by the health commissioner in negotiation wit Read More

One of New York’s Biggest Medicaid Contractors Is Quietly Acquiring a Competitor

Author's note: This post has been updated to correct an error in the second paragraph. As state lawmakers debate the future of Medicaid home care, one of the program's bigg Read More

While New York’s Medicaid Budget Soared, Public Health Funding Languished

Four years after a devastating pandemic, the state has made no major investment to repair or improve its public health defenses. While funding for Medicaid over the past four years Read More

A Medicaid Grant Recipient Sponsors a Pro-Hochul Publicity Campaign

While much of the health-care industry is attacking Governor Hochul's Medicaid budget, at least one organization is rallying to her side: Somos Community Care, a politically active medical group in the Bronx that recently r Read More

New Jersey’s Pandemic Report Shines Harsh Light on a New York Scandal

A recently published independent review of New Jersey's pandemic response holds lessons for New York on at least two levels. First, it marked the only serious attempt by any state t Read More

A Politically Active Medical Group Gets $29 Million in ‘Distressed’ Provider Funds

State officials awarded $29 million in 'distressed' provider funding to a politically active medical group in the Bronx, state records confirm. a network of physicians and other he Read More