After 2 consecutive yrs of decline,’s estimated annual earnings for a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM) have increased  for 2 consecutive yrs. As noted in the above box, MOM’s wages have increased 3.6% this year and 9% over the last 2 yrs. While both %s seem reasonable increases, we must point out that SAHM’s hourly wage increase (with 2 downturns & 2 up turns) has only increased from $12.04 in 2011 (Yr 1 of the study) to $12.79 in 2015 (6.2%).

Given MOM’s increase in econ value of 3.6%, there are 4  of her 14 “jobs” where she actually lost in hourly pay over the last yr. (Housekeeper -1.5%, Barber, Hair Dresser -1.9%, Family Financial Mgr -2.9%, and Personal Shopper -4.5%) There are 3 “jobs” that showed no change in their hourly pay rate (Driver, Detective & Yard Worker) and there are 7 “jobs” where MOM received an hrly boost in wages (Nurse for Wounds and Summer Planner, both +1%; Homework Mentor, +5.9%; Cook +6%; Kid Caregiver +6.2%; House Maintenance Pro, +7.5%; and Party Planner, +8.9%) No matter the increase or decrease in MOM’s “implicit wages,” she’s the HEAD, HEART and HANDS of every family. She’s priceless and irreplaceable!

T-1 The Economic Worth of the Stay at Home Mom, 2015 ( data)
% of Mom’s $$ & Time
MOM’s JOBS a Hrs Wks Hourly Yrly Mom Earnings by by    
per Wk per Yr Wage ∆’14-’15 Earnings c Time d
Kid Caregiver 40 52 $11.10 6.2% $23,088.00 35.36% 40.80%
Summer Planner 40 12 $18.68 1.0% $8,966.40 13.73% 9.40%
Homework Mentor 10 40 $19.30 5.9% $7,720.00 11.82% 7.80%
Cook 14 52 $10.13 6.1% $7,374.64 11.29% 14.30%
Driver 9 52 $12.12 0.0% $5,672.16 8.69% 9.20%
Housekeeper 10 52 $10.00 -1.5% $5,200.00 7.96% 10.20%
Personal Shopper 3 52 $10.63 -4.5% $1,658.28 2.54% 3.10%
Party Planner 8 8 $24.53 8.9% $1,569.92 2.40% 1.30%
House Maintenance Pro 5 8 $23.27 7.5% $930.80 1.43% 0.80%
What R Kids Doing? Detective 5 8 $25.91 0.0% $1,036.40 1.59% 0.80%
Family Financial Manager 0.5 52 $24.98 -2.9% $649.48 0.99% 0.50%
Yard Worker 1 52 $12.95 0.0% $673.40 1.03% 1.00%
Nurse for Wounds 2 12 $18.43 1.0% $442.32 0.68% 0.50%
Barber/Hair Dresser 0.5 52 $11.90 1.9% $309.40 0.47% 0.50%
148 $12.79 N/A $65,291.20 100.00% 100.00%
a. The 14 wage categories were developed by using the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data.  For example Homework Helper was interpreted as “Other Teachers & Instructors”, “Party Planner from Meeting & Convention Planners etc.
b. Unweighted median hourly wage of the 14 items presented in the above table. c. We calculated the % of the total earnings for each classification
d. We calculated the % of time actually spent doing each task, given hrs per wk & wks per yr doing each task/activity.


T-1 paints an interesting picture of MOM as an owner-employee.  We see that the TOP 6 categories (43%) viewing MOM by her “implicit wages” are Child Care Giver, Summer Planner, Homework Mentor (we argue this is severely undervalued), Cook, Driver and Housekeeper. They account for 89% of MOM’s “wages” and almost 92% of her time. In short MOM is a “14 tool” player of which 6 overwhelmed her energy and time. We add that in pro sports, teams prize anybody that is such a star. A “5 tool” player in baseball or someone that can do it all in basketball “are worth their weight in gold” and as such are pd a premium for such SuperStar Skills. Where’s MOM’s premium? (Just for the record, according to the Center for Disease Control, the avg American woman over 20 yrs weighs 166 lbs that means that if Mom was valued as gold [$1,308 per ounce] her calculated value would be $3.474 M.) WOW!

Interestingly, working the #s and $$ discovered that men doing the same 14 tasks as our MOM would have earned 8% more than MOM. (OUCH!) The “imbalance is reflected in life insurance.” Coverage on MOM/women is substantially lower. Married couples are more likely to cover Dads vs Moms. The amount of coverage furthermore is about 2/3 of men’s coverage. (This is just another indication on how UNDERVALUED MOM is as compared to anyone in the universe.)


We wondered where MOM’s almost $65,291 of “wages/earnings” would fit w/i ranks of the gainfully employed. Using the Bureau of Labor Stats (BLS, 2014 data) listing of 1100 different occupations (with salaries) we found that MOM’s “wages” (if we pd her) would be in the TOP  of ALL wages/salaries. We call her occupation Stay At Home Momhood! Some of the occupations and salaries around her look like this:

·         Writers & Authors  $    67,870
·         Property, Real Estate, & Community Association Managers  $    65,880
·        SAHMOMHOOD  $  65,291
·         Recreation & Fitness Studies Teachers  $    65,220
·         Human Resource Specialists  $    62,590


There are 5M SAHM according to the Census Bureau’s M-Day release for 2014. If we multiply $65,291 by 5 M we arrive at the tidy sum of $326.455 B. Our SAHM economy, if it was a nation, would produce the 51st biggest economy in the world. It would be snuggled b/t Norway at #50 and the Qatar  now at #52 (the former #45 b-4 Stay At Home Momland was christened). SAHMOMLAND would be a “Top 20%” economy in the world. MOM POWER is more than “$ugar & $pice & everything nice.” It is an economic force to be appreciated, accepted, admired and adored by her family and by all. (Just for the record, MOM’s 300 B± would add over 2% to our GDP!)

#1 United States $17,460   B
# 49 Ukraine $373.100 B
# 50 Norway $339.500 B
# 51 SAHMOMLAND $326.455 B
# 52 Qatar $323.200 B
# 53 Czech Republic $299.700 B
Source: CIA World Factbook 2014 EST

As compared with 2014’s M-Day price for all grades/all shades of gasoline, our economy will save $10 B±. (Estimation is based on driving 250 M miles a mo and 25 mpg with a gas savings of $92.4 per gal vs M-Day 2014.) Given the NRF’s estimation of M-Day being worth $21.2 B± to the economy, gas savings are 47%± of M-Day gifting. For the fam of 4 with 2 drivers, the savings for our mythical M-Day mo will bring that fam $81.13. (The avg MILLENNIAL purchaser will M-Day spend $50.52 on Jewelry and $32.53 on Cons Electronics. The sum being $83.05 or $1.92 more than our mythical M-Day family will spend on M-Day.)


About bernacmd

For over 24 years, University of Detroit Mercy Marketing Professor Michael Bernacchi, Ph.D., J.D, has produced "uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE", a newsletter discussing current "marketing and advertising¹s bends, trends & ends." A well-know fixture in Detroit and national media, UDM's marketing guru has made several appearances on CNN's "Talk Back Live," the Voice of America worldwide radio network (VOA), ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and on the pages of Sports Illustrated, Time, TV Guide, the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, to name a few. At University of Detroit Mercy, he has taught courses in Marketing Management, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Communications, Research and Corporate Social Responsibility and Sports and Entertainment Marketing. Michael Bernacchi can be reached at 313-993-1116 or Please appropriately attribute the following for their work on uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE: Yen Ju Lee Robert Rouse Vidhyasagar Natarajan Eric Baumgardner & Ian Young
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