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Domestic Workers At Risk for Low Pay and More Injuries

Those who work in the State of New York as caregivers for children, companions for the elderly, or as housekeepers have been studied in a major national research project for the first time ever. The results of the study show some discouraging statistics especially for 2012.

 

Interviews were conducted with over 2000 workers in 14 major areas. There were many differences noticed based on the location including with wages, immigration status of workers, and how many workers lived on the premises with their employer. The average wage for nannies came in at $11/hour. Housekeepers and caregivers were earning an average of $10/hour. Workers surveyed included 23% of people not earning at least the minimum wage in their state and earning less than the federal level wage of $7.25.

 

The study shows that domestic workers who are white typically earn more than people of other ethnicities including Hispanic, Black, and Asian except in the nanny category where African-American nannies were shown to earn more than white nannies.

 

The study was called Home Economics: The Invisible and Unregulated World of Domestic Work. Those interviewed for the study all worked in the United States but originally came from a total of 71 other countries. Nine languages were used to interview participants including English, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Tagalog, Polish, Haitian Creole, and Nepali. Immigrant workers were shown to earn a lower wage than American-born citizens.

 

Another interesting part of the study includes the fact that live-in workers earn much less than domestic workers that do not live on the premises but often do more work than they are paid for fairly. Nannies in particular were found to earn the lesser wage but were also subjected to longer work hours when living with the children they care for each day. Their sleep was more often interrupted and other responsibilities were added to their work load more frequently.

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