If you're of the Mary Poppins type, it is a good time for business.
Ronda Kaysen: SitterCity.com, every mom's go-to website for babysitting, has a new notch in its belt: it's also the latest economic indicator. The website, the largest of its kind in the country, reported a 128 percent increase in job postings in the last quarter of 2009 over its first quarter postings. And a survey found that two-thirds of the recent postings were by newly employed people on the hunt for a sitter. What do all these numbers mean? More moms are finding jobs -- and if you're a nanny looking for a job, you're in good shape.
"It's a very good time to be a caregiver," Genevieve Thiers, founder of SitterCity, told momlogic. More than 9,700 new jobs were posted in December alone. It's not uncommon to see a spike in jobs for caregivers during a recession, since people tend to scale back on professional childcare during rosier times when they can afford to stay home with their kids. "Caregiving is a necessity, not a luxury," said Thiers.
Thiers thinks the 128 percent increase is only half the story, since about 50 percent of SitterCity users find their babysitters by scouring the online resumes posted by job seekers.
Whether this means the economy is improving overall is hard to say. It could actually be a sign of just how bad the economy actually is. As more families feel the crunch, more moms reenter the workforce or take on second jobs to keep afloat.
Take a look at job postings and you'll see signs of the times. Nannies now offer tutoring or housecleaning services along with babysitting. And more families are seeking nanny shares to save money. "They're getting creative," Thiers said.
|Ronda Kaysen is a freelance writer. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, BusinessWeek.com, Architectural Record, Huffington Post, New York Observer and AM New York. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.|