Hypothetical mom's pay down, reflecting stagnant U.S. wages: Report

U.S. mom worth US$59,862 in 2013, down from US$60,182 in 2012
By Atossa Araxia Abrahamian
|payroll-reporter.com|Last Updated: 05/07/2013

NEW YORK (Reuters) — A mother's hypothetical pay fell for the second year in a row, dragged down by stagnating wages in the United States, according to insurance information website Insure.com.

A mom in 2013 was worth US$59,862 per year, down from US$60,182 in 2012 and US$61,436 in 2011, Insure.com said, calculating the salary based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data.

This was the third year Insure.com released its data just ahead of Mother's Day.

By another measure, the "mom salary" rose slightly this year after experiencing a big dip in 2012.

The career website Salary.com, basing its pay figures from businesses employing 25 people or fewer, showed a stay-at-home mom was worth US$113,586 in 2013 versus US$112,962 and US$115,432 in 2011. The domestic work of a mother who has another job was valued at US$67,435.

The hypothetical mom salary stagnated as U.S. wages fell to a record low of 43.5 per cent of GDP in 2012. For many workers, wages have been stagnant for the past decade, according to the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute.

"Average wages for typical mom jobs have been dropping, pushing down mom's annual value," said Amy Danise, editorial director of Insure.com.

Today, cooks are paid a mean hourly wage of US$9.03 nationwide, which means moms could pocket almost US$6,570 a year for the 14 hours a week they said they spend preparing meals. In 2012, cooks earned US$9.08 per hour and in 2011 they earned an hourly wage of US$9.53, according to Insure.com.

Helping with homework pays US$18.23 per hour, a little more than it did in 2011, when teachers and instructors earned on average US$17.85 an hour.

Abby Euler, general manager of Salary.com, said private sector salaries rose three per cent overall between 2008 and the end of 2011 and have yet to revert to a more typical four per cent annual increase.

"All of the salaries are contingent on what's going on in the economy," Euler said.

Both websites conducted surveys that found mothers work about 90 hours a week. Insure.com categorizes a mother's labour as predominantly unskilled, with a few exceptions such as teaching and nursing. Salary.com pays a mom the same wage as a psychologist (US$38.03 per hour), a facilities manager (US$31.59 per hours), or a CEO (US$54.58 per hour) for several hours a week on top of the unskilled work.

Some of this "mom" value is also in the eye — or wallet — of the beholder. Insure found 56 per cent of women and 62 per cent of men with children age 12 and under living at home said they would pay someone else less than US$40,000 a year to perform mom's work.

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