NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Demand For Personal Services (and Servants) Rising

June 23, 1999

  • Last year, the number of servant-type jobs grew 8 percent to almost 1.8 million, more than five times the overall rate of job growth.
  • A domestic employment agency in Southern Calif., claims that business is up 20 percent annually in the past two years.
  • Observers note that pay for illegal-immigrant domestic help is so cheap -- often from $150 to $300 a week -- that servants are almost common place for middle-class families in California and Texas.
  • Most employers reportedly pay their servants in cash -- avoiding Social Security taxes and questions about immigration status.

Before World War II, many middle-class families had full-time servants. But the widespread use of domestics, especially live- in servants, ended after the war as the waves of immigration subsided and many blacks left domestic work.


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