Reforming Care Sector Could Help Staunch Rise in Unemployment
By Mel Fabrikant Friday, June 01, 2012, 03:34 PM EDT
May’s Disappointing Job Growth Highlights Need to Change American Care System, Create a Projected 2 Million Jobs. Today, the Labor Department announced that the United States economy added only 69,000 net jobs last month, falling short of the 150,000 that were expected. Unemployment rose for the first time in nearly a year, from 8.1% to 8.2%.
In response to these new numbers, Ai-jen Poo, director of the Caring Across Generations campaign, released the following statement on how reforming the care sector could created an estimated 2 million jobs in America.
"As a country we have been facing a growing challenge of job loss and unemployment. But we have a history of rising to challenges and transforming them into opportunities," said Ai-jen Poo, co-Director of the Caring Across Generations Campaign. "Right now we are seeing an age wave as baby boomers age up; there is a need and opportunity for us to create 2 million good home care jobs to meet that need."
Every 8 seconds, a person in this country turns 65, adding to the 12 million Americans, including the elderly and people with disabilities who require support from a care worker. The existing 3 million care workers in this country cannot meet the growing number of people who need care and support.
Comprehensive reform of the care sector, including job creation, ensuring job quality, creating training and career ladders, providing paths to legalization, and supporting individuals and families receiving care services, would help to add 2 million jobs that the US economy desperately needs.
It is time to transform the way that we care in America. By doing so, we will ensure that the millions of people who receive care services in America, the millions who provide those care services, and the millions who could gain employment by entering the care work force, receive the care, dignity, and respect that they deserve.