Source: New Jersey Patch
Taking care of someone in need has long been a job for someone in New Jersey who can show enormous compassion. That’s especially been true in the 15 months since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as older Americans are at a higher risk for contracting the virus and suffering from its most severe effects.
But that compassion hasn’t often been awarded with high pay. In fact, a recent study shows caregivers in New Jersey and everywhere else in America get paid less than a worker making an average salary.
Caregivers in New Jersey get paid an average of $28,860 a year, compared with the $63,690 annual mean wage for all other occupations, according to a Business.org report. That’s 54.7 percent less than average for caregivers, who the report states need to work an average of 88.5 hours a week to be able to afford rent.
The U.S. is home to more than 3 million caregivers, including the several thousand working in New Jersey. But even in the states that provide the highest pay for caregivers compared to other jobs, workers in that field are still making considerably less.
Consider North Dakota: It ranks as the best for caregiver pay with an average yearly mean wage of $34,020. Yet that’s still 35 percent less than the average worker pay in the state, Business.org found in its study, which included home health aides and personal care aides as caregivers.
The District of Columbia ranks last on the list, with caregivers getting 67 percent less than the average worker, and Virginia a close second, with caregiver pay coming in at 61 percent less.
The majority of the lowest-paying states have high populations, the study found. Texas, for example, has caregivers making 58 percent less than the average salary.
Top five states for caregiver pay, compared to state average worker pay:
North Dakota, $34,020
South Dakota, $27,810
Bottom five states for caregiver pay, compared to state average worker pay: