Getting old a growing industry

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At least one industry is growing in this lousy economy: In-home health care for the elderly. And where an industry grows, there are usually jobs that grow with it.

Homewatch CareGivers, a franchise based in Colorado that serves all ages, announced record-setting growth for 2008 with domestic sales revenue increasing 32% over the previous year and overall revenue up 20%.

"Despite the recent economic downturn in the U.S., our franchise owners increased same-store sales 25% system-wide," Homewatch CareGivers President Leann Reynolds said in a press release. "Our significant bottom line in 2008 is due to the needs of families worldwide and Homewatch CareGivers provided over 3.1 million hours" of care.

The company expanded to 22 areas this year and more are expected as the population ages. More than 34 million people in America are 65 years or older and that population is expected to reach 70 million by 2030. In-home care service is expected to increase by 50% between 2002 and 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs for personal and home care aides is projected to grow by 51% between 2006 and 2016, which is must faster than the average for all occupations, and nearly 390,000 jobs will be created to serve the aging baby boomers.

Of course, unless you're an RN or other specialized worker, most of these jobs are low-wage. However, that may change if demand for these workers isn't met.

"The Homewatch CareGivers potential client base will continue to grow dramatically over the next 15 to 20 years as our world population ages," Reynolds said. "Our aging population is living longer and desires more community and home-based activities in their last decades. We are poised to service these elder care demands."

Aaron Crowe is an unemployed journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read about his job search at www.talesofanunemployeddad.blogspot.com

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