Can you really put a price on what dad is worth as Father's Day 2017 approaches? Does he do anything worthwhile other than commandeer the grill and scorch the burgers and hot dogs?
A survey by insure.com attempts to put a value on his work around the house and with the family by using U.S. Bureau of Labor (BLS) statistics to measure the economic value of his services.
The good news: Pop's value grew 6 percent this year. After an embarrassing decline in 2016 that put him almost at the poverty line, it rose to $26,125 in 2017 as dads manned up to duties like Scout leader, lawn mower and, not incidentally, bug squasher.
The bad news for males everywhere in the U.S.: moms do a lot more, and so are worth a lot more. At least that's what the survey (conducted by a woman) shows. In contrast to dad, mom's value rose to a new high of $67,619 this year, according to insure.com's survey conducted in May for Mother's Day. It showed that this trend has been on the rise since 2014.
Survey author Penny Gusner echoed the ingrained notion that while men may work from sun to sun, woman's work is never done. "Being a mom is not a nine-to-five job," she said. "It's an all-day, every-day job."
Gusner threw in a few tasks and hourly rates that others might not agree with. "Private detective," or keeping track of the children, which earns mom $22.60 an hour; "accountant" at a cost of $25.45 an hour; and "hairdresser," which nets mom $12.50 an hour. "Multitasking moms get the job done," Gusner said in the survey.
But dad's "value" doesn't include tasks fulfilled by a full-time, stay-at-home dad, nor salary from employment outside the home. In a separate section, Gusner lists other tasks that moms and dads often perform, which gives mothers an additional $10,566 for "extra job earnings," while dads get an additional $584 for taking out the garbage.
But it doesn't really change the relationship. With the add-ons, dads are now valued at $30,635, while moms are worth a whole lot more -- $78,185 to be exact.
Some might take issue with the whole concept by saying today's families, the majority of which have two wage earners, necessitate sharing much of the housework and child care equally. And if you factor in that inflation has risen 2.2 percent in the last 12 months, it renders the gains for both mom and pop -- which isn't "real money" anyway -- less meaningful.
Does this make you wonder whether dad deserves all the attention he gets each year on one Sunday in June? Gusner noted that Americans will spend a record amount of money on Father's Day gifts, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. Father's Day spending this year is pegged at $15.5 billion, or $135 on average, a $9 jump from last year.
Is dad really worth it? Maybe it's just that the price of neckties has gone up.