A surprising example of women choosing money over status, childcare edition.

There is a strange local phenomenon where I live (whitopia) in which women working desk jobs are taking lower pay and fewer hours than those jobs paid and provided during the housing bubble and even through the crash, while women offering nanny or babysitting services are asking for higher wages and more hours, and getting them.

It’s strange in light of the class warfare astroturf around paying fast food workers $15/hr as a starting wage because it’s the women in those underpaid desk jobs who are happy with lower and lower wages and expectations of full time availability for 10-15 hours per week who are often the biggest fans of such rhetoric.  But they are currently not demanding better conditions for themselves.  It’s the nannies and the babysitters who are, I’ve heard the beefing from local women who are shocked at having to finally pay normal wages to get someone to watch your kids in your house when they thought an adult woman should be happy with 3-5 dollars an hour, if that.

It’s been very interesting seeing this split of working women where the ones doing “just childcare” are getting pretty good wages ($13-25/hr), modest benefits and full time hours if they want them while the women with office jobs are struggling to get $10-11/hr with no benefits and often barely 10 hours a week.  Obviously the latter are happy with the status of working in an office at all vs. having a real paycheck for changing diapers and playing with three year olds all day.  But especially given the way things often work in whitopia, it’s interesting to see a group of women actively negotiating for and receiving better wages on the open market without government intervention, and for work that is considered extremely low status in America.

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