Expect continued modest growth of approximately 1.5% in the senior living workforce this year, according to Argentum’s “Senior Living Labor & Workforce Trends: 2018 Forecasts” report.

By comparison, the industry added jobs at a 2.9% average annual rate between 1990 and 2016, states the report, which makes projections using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Although the need for senior living services is increasing, the authors note that the industry has a relatively shallow labor pool from which to recruit. And it’s not expected to get deeper any time soon.

Nationally, the unemployment rate is expected to decrease to 4% in 2018, and in some states it will approach 3%, according to the report. That means even more competition for applicants.

Foodservice and hospitality positions will be some of most difficult to recruit for because the need for such positions is growing, the authors state.

Wage pressure resulting from the expanding economy and shallow labor pool will be most pronounced in skilled nursing but will be felt across senior living and care, Argentum says. Average hourly earnings will increase 3.2% this year, up from the 2.9% of 2017, the authors predict.

To download the report, visit the Argentum website.