The Department of Labor reports that last year’s national wage rate crept up only 2%, confirming what many US workers can already tell you: wages have stagnated. Not so for one high-demand job: babysitters. Over the past 30 years, teenage babysitting rates have risen nine times faster than the rate of inflation – commanding an average of $10 per hour. Depending on location and a sitter’s skill set, parents can shell out as much as $17 an hour for a night out. Megan Woolhouse covers the economy for the Boston Globe’s business section. Her article on babysitters making bank alerted us to this one sector of high wage growth.
This week, a highly-politicized bill titled the “Paycheck Fairness Act”, died in the U.S. Senate. The bill was aimed at the so-called “wage gap”, between men and women. It would have given workers greater legal rights, if they found evidence of pay disparities between male and female employees. Republicans voted against the measure, saying it would have encouraged a flood of workplace lawsuits, while Democrats called the bill an important tool aimed at closing the divide between men’s and women’s paychecks. We'll look at that, also what might cause this gap?