A Study of Home Help Finds Low Worker Pay
11.27.2012 | Steven Greenhouse | New York Times
Nannies, caregivers and housecleaners earn a median wage of about $10 an hour, and few receive benefits like health insurance or paid sick days, according to the first-ever national statistical study of domestic workers, which is being released on Tuesday.
The study, based on interviews with 2,086 workers in 14 major metropolitan areas, found substantial differences in pay across ethnicity, immigration status and whether the worker lived with her employer.
The report found that the median wage for nannies was $11 an hour, compared with a $10-an-hour median for caregivers and housecleaners. But 23 percent of the workers earned less than their state’s minimum wage, which varies but must be at least the federal level of $7.25 an hour. Domestic workers are generally not covered by federal or state minimum wage laws.
The study noted that white domestic workers generally earned more than their black, Hispanic and Asian counterparts, although the study said that African-American nannies earned slightly more — a median of $12.71 an hour — than white ones ($12.55 an hour). Hispanic nannies earned $8.57 an hour, while Asian ones earned $11.11.
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