The Aged Care Workforce: Methods to Increase Supply to Remedy Possible Shortages
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This paper examines the labour supply of Australian aged care workers to determine methods for increasing supply to remedy possible shortages in the workforce. The possibility of increasing supply is tested through examination of descriptive statistics and estimations of labour supply models. The findings show that supply could be increased by removing impediments to adjustment of workers' hours and by decreasing paperwork requirements to allow more work hours for direct caring tasks. The wage elasticity of supply for existing workers is found to be negative for each direct care occupation, even with a measure of labour supply that takes into account desired hours of work. This suggests that wage increases will not be effective in increasing supply of current workers and provides some evidence that aged care occupations have backward bending labour supply curves.