- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Hugs are still freely given, but the market value of the average mother’s labor has gone up to more than $65,000 a year, says an annual index.

The biggest-ticket services that mothers provide are child care (valued at $11.10 an hour), cooking (valued at $10.13 an hour) and driving (valued at $12.12 an hour), Insure.com said in its 2015 Mother’s Day Index.

This year’s annual assessment of mother’s annual worth — $65,284 — is more than $5,000 than it was two years ago, said Insure.com, which is owned by QuinStreet Inc., a major Internet marking and media company.

The index is intended to both put a number on mothers’ market-labor worth, but also show that the services a parent provides is an important consideration when deciding how much life insurance to buy for a household.

The 2015 Mother’s Day Index figures are based on Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) wage data combined with annual time spent on common household tasks that mothers often perform.

While child care, cooking and driving account for about half of the value of mothers’ labors, the list includes another 11 services most mothers do.

These services (measured by the BLS’ occupation title and mean hourly wage) include: handling family finances (accountant/$24.98), finding out what the kids are up to (private detective/$25.91), fixing up the house (designer/$23.27) and cleaning up (maid service/$10).

Moms also bind wounds (vocational nurse/$18.43), plan parties (event planner/$24.53) and give haircuts (hairdresser/$11.90).

These services — plus shopping, yard work, helping with homework and summer activity planning — add up to a substantial market value, said Penny Gusner, consumer analyst for Insure.com.

“Earnings for many of the tasks mothers are associated with, such as event planning and decorating the home, continue to grow and elevate Mom’s overall value,” she said.

Insure.com also asked 1,000 adults what they thought a mother should be paid if motherhood received an annual salary.

Twenty-four percent of adults generally agreed with the BLS, saying it should between $50,000 and $75,000.

Of the rest of the adults, 25 percent thought Mom’s labor was worth between $25,000 and $50,000, 12 percent thought it worth $10,001 to $25,000 and 4 percent up to $10,000. A small number (2 percent) said mothers should be paid zero.

On the high end, 17 percent of adults thought the annual salary should be between $75,000 to $100,000, 7 percent said it should be between $100,001 and $200,000. Another 9 percent of adults were especially appreciative, saying mothers deserve more than $200,000 a year.

• Cheryl Wetzstein can be reached at cwetzstein@washingtontimes.com.

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