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The Pay Gap Between Care Workers and Workers at Comparable Jobs

Matthew Dey, Mark Loewenstein, and David S. Piccone, Jr.


Home health and personal care aides play the important role of helping individuals with disabilities or chronic illnesses who need assistance with their daily living activities. This paper develops a methodology for estimating what workers in jobs requiring similar skills to home health and personal care aides are paid. The methodology that we develop can be applied to any occupation, but here we apply it to care workers. Our methodology draws heavily on the wage and employment information that is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Wage Statistics program. A second key source of information is the Department of Labor’s Occupational Information Network, which has information on a large number of job attributes. We also make use of the Current Population Survey, which has useful demographic information in addition to wages.