Explore the Data

Home Economics presents the results of the first large-scale, national survey of domestic workers in the US. Through local organizations in 14 cities, domestic workers were trained to do outreach and conduct interviews.

Through their committed efforts, they were able to overcome language barriers, logistical challenges typical of the domestic work industry, and the understandable reluctance of many undocumented workers to tell their stories. They collected more than 2,000 surveys, patiently guiding workers through an extensive questionnaire.

As a result of their efforts, a hidden story has been brought to light. We are able, for the very first time, to draw an empirically grounded picture of what it means to be a domestic worker in 21st century America.

Explore some of the data they uncovered by browsing the figures and tables from of the report.


Table 1. Median Hourly Wage for Occupations by Race/Ethnicity and Employment Arrangement

NanniesCaregiversHousecleanersAll Occupations
All Workers$11.00$10.00$10.00$10.00

Source: Analysis of 2011-12 National Domestic Workers Survey.

Table 2. Median Hourly Wage for Occupations by Immigration Status

NanniesCaregiversHousecleanersAll Occupations
US citizen$12.51$10.19$11.91$12.00
US-born citizens$12.56$10.30$12.00$12.00
Foreign-born citizens$12.25***$11.58$11.67
Documented Immigrants
Undocumented Immigrants$9.86$8.33$10.00$10.00
All Workers$11.00$10.00$10.00$10.00

*** Small sample size

Source: Analysis of 2011-12 National Domestic Workers Survey.

Table 3. Impact of Immigration Status

US BornDocumented ImmigrantsUndocumented ImmigrantsAll Workers
Spends More Than Half of Income on Rent or Mortgage50%61%62%60%
Hard Time Paying Essential Bills33%35%51%40%
Assigned Work Outside of Job Description19%23%31%24%
Required to Do Heavy, Strenuous Work40%33%46%39%
Injured on the Job54%61%74%64%
Worked While Sick, Injured, or in Pain56%60%77%66%

Source: Analysis of 2011-12 National Domestic Workers Survey.

Table 4. The Impact of Living In

Live-In WorkersLive-Out WorkersAll Workers
Worked Long Hours without Breaks50%33%35%
Assigned Work Outside Job Description40%22%24%
Required to Work Outside Scheduled Hours58%n/an/a
Allowed Fewer than 5 Hours of Uninterrupted Sleep25%n/an/a
Threatened, Insulted, or Verbally Abused 36%16%19%

Source: Analysis of 2011-12 National Domestic Workers Survey.