Friday, April 10, 2015

What's $12.83 Worth to You?

While doing research for an up and coming article I ran across something that I just couldn't wait to share with you. 

So what is $12.83 worth to you? 

Better yet what can you buy for $12.83?
Movie Theater Popcorn and Soda
1lb of Starbuck Houseblend Coffee
A nursing bra at Kohls
3 Cake Pan Set
REI Toddler rain Coat
Oh and according to PayScale a Nanny*!

Even more shocking the United States Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the mean hourly rate for childcare is $10.44.

At first the $12.83 didn't seem like such a horrid amount for a nanny salary especially since I grew up in a state in which the current minimum wage is $8.75. So yes paying your nanny over $4 more than the average base paying job seems reasonable.

Then I started looking more into the statistics the Bureau of Labor put out. Curious where on the scale of pay a nanny fell. Never expecting to make as much as a doctor because well they save lives - I am only watching one. Nor as much as lawyers - I don't have the school bills they do. I did however wonder at what point was helping raise a human life less monetarily valuable than the next job. 

So here are some jobs that employers in the US deem more valuable than a nanny: 
Slot Supervisors: yup like the people that take money out of the slot machines.

Landscaping and Grounder Keepers: because keeping your yard clean and put together is more valuable than those living in the house.

Crossing Guards: I don't know how to respond to this one on so many levels.

Private Chef: Because we all know nannies are rarely the ones preparing at least one meal a day. 

I am not bashing or negating any of the jobs that are listed above or their well deserved salary. I am just stating that we as a country on average pay the person who walks your child across the street twice a day more than the person who walks (or drives) your children everywhere. I also realize these are average means for the country - not taking into consideration the demographics of each situation.

So many variables are missing in these statistics such as live-in nannies, benefit packages, food stipends, credit card usage, vehicle allotment, and mileage reimbursement to name a few. Yet...

...Still the bottom line astounds me, nannies are worth about $1.50 more an hour than the person asking if you want fries with that shake.

Looking back at 16 year old me working my first job at an ice cream shop, I worked my butt off at minimum wage and understood that was what the value of serving ice cream with a smile. 26 year old me does not understand how just above minimum wage makes sense when the job is now teaching another human life, caring for and raising another persons child.

*$12.38 is the average hourly rate in the US in 2014

CECONNER © 4.10.2015

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