Personal Care and Services
The coronavirus pandemic impacted all sectors of the personal care and services industry in 2020. Business lockdowns and social distancing requirements caused work disruptions early in the pandemic. An economic slowdown also caused many consumers to scale back on personal care services they deemed nonessential. However, the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in 2021 is expected to bolster the economy. As consumer confidence improves, as well as the growth of expendable income, growth in many sectors of the personal care and services industry will resume, according to the research group IBISWorld. For example, the U.S. day care industry is expected to slowly grow to high demand by 2025, as the number of children under 9 years old is projected to increase. During the pandemic there was a rise in the number of pets adopted, which will lead to more employment opportunities in animal care and services post pandemic. Slow but steady growth is also expected in the U.S. residential cleaning services market, with new operators expected to rapidly enter the field through 2026. The U.S. landscaping services industry will also bounce back from pandemic setbacks, with businesses reopened and improved economic situations for consumers, demand will grow in the coming years for professional landscaping maintenance services.
Moving forward, the outlook will be bright overall for the personal care and services industry. Approximately 17 percent employment growth is expected through 2028, which is much faster than the average. As reported by the Department of Labor, approximately 1.2 million new personal care and services industry jobs will be added by 2028, and personal care aides are projected to account for about 70 percent of these new jobs. The demand will be due to the increasing population of the elderly and their desire to live as long as possible in the comfort of their own homes; they will need home care aides to help them with daily tasks and activities.
The DOL projects that childcare workers will have about 2 percent employment growth through 2028, which slower than the average for all occupations. There will continue to be demand for childcare help for people who work and need someone to care for their children during business hours. The number of stay-at-home parents has been increasing, however, and this could reduce the need for childcare help in the coming years. Job opportunities will arise from the need to replace childcare workers who leave their positions for other jobs. Childcare workers with formal education will also have an edge in the job market.
Animal care and service workers, including pet sitters and dog walkers, are expected to have much faster than average employment growth of 16 percent through 2028. A growing number of people own pets and want to provide them with the best care available. According to the National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), about 67 percent of U.S. household (85 million families) owned a pet in 2019. The number of pets owned in the United States increased in 2019 compared to 2016. For example, in 2019, approximately 89.7 million dogs were owned, compared to 77.8 million dogs owned in 2016; and 94.2 million cats were owned in 2019, compared to 85.8 million cats owned in 2016. Total U.S. spending on pets has also continued rising over the years, from more than $48 billion in 2010 to more than $75 billion in 2019; that number is expected to continue rising. There should be plenty of job opportunities for pet sitters and dog walkers in the coming years, especially because there is high turnover in this type of work. Those with experience and certification will have improved job prospects.
The DOL predicts that maids and housekeeping cleaners will have a 2 percent decline in employment through 2028. According to U.S. News Best Jobs Rankings, maids and housekeepers are paid higher salaries in the metropolitan areas of San Francisco, New York City, and Honolulu; they also do well in the Las Vegas area and in Modesto, California. Owners of professional cleaning companies and franchises belong to groups such the ISSA, which provides guidance on business practices and ethics and other educational resources.
Grounds maintenance workers, including tree trimmers and pruners, will have 9 percent employment growth through 2028, which faster than the average for all occupations. As the economy strengthens, more people will spend money on landscaping services such as tree trimming and pruning to improve and maintain the appearance of their lawns and trees. Also, the growing elderly population will lead to job opportunities for tree trimmers and pruners to help older people who will need more assistance in maintaining their yards. The DOL also reports that many municipalities are planting more trees in urban areas, and thus landscaping and tree specialists will be in demand. The best job opportunities are in temperate climates, where there is work for landscapers and tree trimmers and pruners year round.
Pesticide handlers, sprayers, and applicators, as well as pest control workers, will have 7 percent employment growth through 2028, which is faster than the average. There will always be a need to replace pest control workers who leave the occupation. Also, the rise of invasive species like bed bugs and stinkbugs will also create more job opportunities in the pest control field.
The ongoing concern about mosquitoes spreading the Zika virus has increased the demand for fumigators in certain areas of the world. There is no outbreak as of now in the United States but fears of the virus have triggered more business for mosquito-control workers. The StarTribune reported that mosquito-control companies in Texas, for example, had experienced a rise in business because of Zika virus cases reported in the metropolitan area. People are also increasingly afraid of the possibility of Zika-infected mosquitoes in neighboring Mexico traveling to Texas. As a result, residential and commercial properties have been hiring mosquito-control services at an increasing rate, and this is expected to continue.