5 M Jobs For Domestic Workers By 2020

by Noel Pangilinan

NEW YORK — The United States will need almost five million domestic workers by 2020.

According to recent employment projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. will need 1.7 million home health workers, 1.5 million childcare workers and 1.5 million maids and housekeepers in 2020.

“This is a clear opportunity for foreign workers to fill this growing need,” New York attorney Cristina Godinez said in at the recent Café Migrante forum in Woodside, Queens.

Godinez, who has helped hundreds of immigrants with visa, green card and citizenship applications for the past 10 years, also said that job prospects for domestic workers in the United States is growing faster than the national average for all occupations.

Café Migrante, a project of the Philippine Forum, is a monthly forum on immigration developments and issues held on the last Sunday of the month.

The next Café Migrante is scheduled on June 24, at 1 p.m. at the Bayanihan Community Center at  40-21 69th St, Woodside, Queens.

The BLS projects a 70-percent job growth for home health aides or personal care aides from 2010 to 2020. Home health and personal care aides help people who are disabled, chronically ill, or cognitively impaired. They also help older adults who may need assistance.

Job growth for child care workers, on the other hand, will grow by 20 percent also for the same period.

“The demand for domestic workers is fueled by the growth of the elderly population in the U.S. as well,” Godinez said during the recent Café Migrante forum.  The elderly population is expected to double from its 2010 level in about 40 years.

From 2010 to 2020, the BLS projects that the job market for home health workers will rise from one million to 1.7 million; childcare workers will increase from 1.3 million to 1.5 million; and the maids and house cleaners will grow from 1.4 million to 1.5 million.

In the same forum, Godinez also said that the green card process for foreign domestic workers is relatively less complicated than that for professionals and shorter than that for some family preference petitions.

“The labor certification process for domestic workers is less expensive than that for professionals like accountants, teachers, engineers, or IT professionals,” Godinez said.

Domestic workers also have a shorter wait-time for immigrant visa availability than certain family preference petitions, Godinez said. “The wait-time for certain family-based petitions is notoriously long,“ she said.

She cited that family preference petitions for Philippine nationals are currently backlogged by 11 to 23 years. For employer-based category for domestic workers, the backlog is only for six years.

“A Filipino nanny sponsored by an employer would be better off than the Filipino sibling of a US citizen in terms of wait-time,” Godinez explained during the forum held at the Bayanihan Community Center in Woodside, Queens.

Attorney Godinez, who has helped hundreds of immigrants with visa, green card and citizenship applications for the past 10 years, is the main resource person for the Café Migrante forum series.

To get to the Bayanihan Community Center, take the 7 Train and get off at 69th St. and Fisk Avenue stop along Roosevelt Avenue.

For more information, please call Melanie Dulfo of the Philippine Forum at 718-565-8862 or email at mdulfo@philippineforum.org.

The Philippine Forum is a New York City-based not-for-profit organization that provides direct services, training and advocacy to Filipinos and people of Filipino heritage in the United States. It is also a prime mover in coalitions with other immigrant groups in advocating for immigration reform.



The growth in the job market for domestic workers is a very good opportunity for foreign domestic workers, according to New York attorney Cristina Godinez at the monthly Café Migrante forum. The next Café Migrante forum is on June 24 at the Bayanihan Community Center  at 40-21 69th St., Woodside, Queens. (Photo by Noel Pangilinan)

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