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Long Term Care & Senior Living Blog

Labor Takes Center Stage in New Senior Care Research

Mark Woodka

senior careIt’s no secret that among the workforce challenges in senior care, staffing falls high on the list. With management of hourly employees taking the forefront of the staffing conversation, a major long-term care and senior living research database is making new information available to help providers navigate this challenging environment. 

The National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care (NIC) has long been a resource for owners and operators in senior housing to track new development information, rental figures and other statistics to help drive decision-making.  

This year, using numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, NIC has added wage and labor statistics to its research database. 

According to Beth Burnham Mace, Chief Economist and Director of Outreach at NIC, nearly 60% of a senior care provider’s expenses are associated with labor costs. By examining the data, organizations will be able to develop a better understanding of a local labor market's costs and conditions. 

Here’s an example of wage and employment numbers NIC compiled for the state of California: 

Across all of California, there are 89,710 CCRC workers with a state annual mean wage of $32,100. Personal care and service occupations are the second-highest occupation, with 34,580 total workers. This group’s annual mean wage is $25,180. 

NIC’s report also dives deep into various occupations and how they compare or differ across California’s cities. For example, in Anaheim, about 21,300 registered nurses are employed. Further up in the Bay Area, there are 14,940 RNs in San Francisco. 

In its sample report, NIC also compiled employment and wage data on nursing assistants, licensed practical (and vocational) nurses, personal care aides, home health aides, housekeeping cleaners, cooks, recreation workers and more. 

Why does this data matter? 

In 2016, Argentum released a report regarding the future of employment in the senior housing industry. By 2025, organizations will need to attract about 1.2 million additional employees. 

NIC’s reporting sheds further light on employment and wage trends in cities across the country and will allow the senior care industry an additional resource that will be helpful for staffing and recruiting both today and in the future.   

It can also help long-term care and senior living organizations stay competitive from a wage perspective as this data allows them to gather market snapshots to determine wages that are appropriate for the state and their specific area. At a time when companies struggle with retaining talent, ensuring senior care workers are paid a fair wage is just one of the many ways to keep employees happy. 

If you’re a member, head over NIC’s website to download the full report and see how your organization compares to the competition in your city, state and across the nation. 


Senior living professionals are preparing for trends like high turnover, wage pressures and rising acuity and you can too with these best practices. 

Learn how to address senior care workforce challenges.

Get Staffing Best Practices

Mark Woodka

Mark Woodka is CEO of OnShift and has over 25 years of experience in enterprise software sales and marketing, having worked for startup organizations as well as Fortune 500 companies. He often leverages his extensive background in technology-enabled process improvements speaking at industry conferences as well as authoring articles on long-term care trends and issues.


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