For Domestic Workers Pay is Rising, but Not Enough
For Domestic Workers Pay is Rising, but Not Enough

For Domestic Workers Pay is Rising, but Not Enough
For Domestic Workers Pay is Rising, but Not Enough

Data Points

Domestic workers are the nannies, homecare workers, and house cleaners whose work is essential to our economy, and yet they are one of the most vulnerable and marginalized groups of workers. Even before COVID-19, domestic workers earned less than the average US worker and were three times as likely to be living in poverty [1].

As record inflation continues to plague the globe, domestic workers continue to struggle to gain wages sufficient enough to secure housing and food security.  The advocacy group gathered about 14,000 surveys from Spanish-speaking members between April and August, here is what they found: 

  • On average, 38% of nannies, home-care workers, and housecleaners are bringing in at least $15 an hour for their work, up from 30% earlier in the year.
  • 40% of respondents said they couldn’t make their rent or mortgage payments and 78% said they couldn’t or didn’t know if they would be able to pay for food in the next two weeks — figures that held steady from previous surveys.
  • Before the pandemic, NDWA estimates that as many as 45% of domestic workers were earning at least $15-an-hour.
  • While the federal minimum wage hasn’t budged from $7.25 an hour in over a decade, many cities and counties have lifted their floors.
  • Women and people of color are more likely to earn less than $15-per-hour, which even with a 40-hour-work week isn’t enough to afford a two-bedroom apartment in most US states.

Economic insecurity has shown little to no change compared to the second quarter of 2022. More than 4 in 10 domestic worker respondents faced housing insecurity and nearly 8 in 10 experienced food insecurity in August 2022.

Of the underemployed domestic worker respondents in August, 67% told us they were underemployed because they did not find more clients, 12% were taking care of relatives, 14% had a health problem, and 7% were underemployed for another reason.