Domestic Workers Economic Situation Report · December 2022
Underemployment was a big issue facing Spanish-speaking domestic workers towards the end of 2022. 70% of domestic workers that took our NDWA Labs survey had at least one hour of work per week and said they wanted to work more hours in the fourth quarter, compared with 69% of respondents in the third quarter. Of the underemployed domestic worker respondents in the fourth quarter, 65% told us they were underemployed because they did not find more clients, 13% were taking care of relatives, 15% had a health issue, and 7% were underemployed for another reason.
Domestic workers, and particularly housecleaners, often have multiple employers. This means they may have to schedule several jobs in a given week in order to make ends meet.
Housing insecurity decreased slightly from the third quarter 2022 to the fourth quarter. Yet more than 40% of domestic worker respondents faced housing insecurity, and nearly 80% experienced food insecurity in the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, 41% of domestic worker respondents said they were unable to pay their monthly rent or mortgage, compared with 42%, on average in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, 14% of respondents said they would not be able to afford food in the following two weeks and 64% were unsure if they would be able to.
NDWA Labs surveys of Spanish-speaking domestic workers shows how the pandemic has amplified the vulnerability of this workforce. Domestic workers continue to face low wages,high levels of joblessness and underemployment and food and housing insecurity.