Arizona ranks near the middle for support of paid caregiving workforce

Published: Tuesday, January 31, 2023 - 1:13pm

Earlier this month, a national nonprofit that studies the paid caregiving workforce ranked states on how they support these critical workers. Arizona is somewhere in the middle.

There is some good news according to Lina Stepick who is with PHI, an advocacy group for direct care workers and their clients.

"Arizona does have things like a state minimum wage that's higher than the federal, Medicaid expansion, paid sick leave."

Despite slightly higher wages, Stepick said, "Arizona direct care worker median wages are still I think about over $2 an hour below those for comparable entry level jobs in other industries."

"About 43% of Arizona direct care workers still live at or below 200% of the federal poverty line, and 17% lack any form of health insurance," Stepick said.

Those industries include retail or fast food. 

The report also looked at who’s actually doing this work. 

"So it's disproportionately women, disproportionately workers of color, and immigrant workers."

In fact in Arizona, 82% of direct care workers are women; 62% are people of color and 25% are immigrants. 

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