A father’s work for a year is valued at $24,738 and, according to a new poll, a lot of dads would like to be paid in more than just hugs.
That finding comes from Insure.com’s 2016 Father’s Day job values index. Analyzing the jobs dads do for the family and data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, analysts from the online insurance pricing site found that the value of a father’s tasks dropped for the first time in six years.
Even more surprising: A majority of fathers said dads should be paid.
The index included a survey of 500 dads who were polled about what salary dads should earn for the work they do around the house. Twenty-six percent of the responses said fathers should earn nothing, but a 55.7 percent majority said fathers should get something. The second-most popular response found 17.8 percent of dads saying they deserve a salary between $75,001 and $100,000.
“That acknowledges it’s a lot of hard work,” said Jennifer Shelton, managing editor for Insure.com. “That’s real work in your day that contributes to the value of your household and family.”
Shelton said the index took 13 “stereotypical” dad jobs, matched them with an officially recognized occupation, and multiplied the number of hours per year dads spend on each task by the median hourly wage for that occupation. Analysts found fathers clocked 51.5 hours of family work every week.
And just like workers who do get paid, dads are losing ground in the feeble post-recession economy.
For the first time in the six years that the Father’s Day index has been produced, the index declined. Dads’ work in 2016 was valued at 3.8 percent less than in 2015 because of a 29.4 percent drop in wages for plumbers or pipelayers, and a 16 percent loss for a coach or umpire. Six other jobs experienced a decrease in wages, but fathers’ role as the family accountant showed an 8.8 percent gain.
Shelton said the decrease had to do with wages failing to keep up with inflation. The median worker’s income has increased by less than 1 percent since 2000, Insure.com’s consumer analyst Penny Gusner said in a statement.
But George Winn, chief operations officer for The Children’s Center in Detroit — and a father himself — said being a father is a “gift that never stops growing.”
Winn described the state of many Detroit families as “fractured” because of incarceration, divorce and a lack of employment and education. He said having fathers who are present — not perfect — can help to change that.
“It reduces dropouts,” Winn said. “It reduces issues related to teen pregnancy, drug abuse. We need to begin to recognize fathers when they’re doing their jobs.”
Detroit Councilman André Spivey, co-chairman for the Task Force on Black Male Engagement and a father of two, said dads and mentors benefit the community by helping children reach their potential and pass on what they learned.
“Fathers need to be a good example, to be the leaders they are called to be,” Spivey said. “I know if we do that, we can turn our community around.”
Fathers and sons in southeastern Michigan agreed that the value of a father goes beyond their physical tasks.
“The value of a dad is the love and responsibility to his children,” said David Edwards, a Detroiter who noted that he’s not a father, except to his pet bird. “He’s an example of ethics in life, otherwise he’s just a biological entity.”
Edwards agreed with the idea that fathers don’t need to earn anything for being a dad.
“It should be a labor of love,” Edwards said. “They wouldn’t want the pay.”
Pete Bones from Detroit, a single father, said he thinks $75,000 would be nice.
Bones, a sales representative, said the most important role a father can play is loving his children — no matter how “crabby” they get.
“I have really nice kids,” Bones said. “I’m proud that they’re very giving and loving.”
Robert Rupert, also of Detroit, said he thinks dads deserve $100 per day.
“It’s a lot of work,” Rupert said. “But the wife should get $200 for what she does.”
Rupert, a home improvement specialist, said his father wasn’t around when he was a child, so he makes sure he is present for his children. For example, he picks up his grandchildren from school when his children cannot.
“I’m there when they need me,” Rupert said. “I try to stay around in their life, help them when they need help.”
Spivey said ultimately, being a father is a responsibility, but it’s one that comes with joy, gratitude and the opportunity to give back.
“I can’t put a number on that,” the councilman said. “I think it’s priceless.”
How much analysts at Insure.com found a father’s unpaid annual labor for the family to be worth:
■As an accountant, dad earns $874 annually for 26 hours of work.
■As a plumber, dad earns $129 annually for 6 hours of work.
■As a teacher, dad earns $10,240 annually for 400 hours of work.
■As a coach, dad earns $818 annually for 40 hours of work.
■As a chauffeur/taxi driver, dad earns $7,020 annually for 468 hours of work.