Mainland media reports on young Chinese people who have university degrees but cannot find jobs or struggle with low-paid jobs. They have found that job opportunities as a nanny offer an attractive salary. 

On average, a nanny receives from 7,000 – 15,000 yuan ($965 – $2,000) per month . This salary is 2-5 times higher than the common jobs they can find.

However, this is a temporary solution, not permanent. Many of them have chosen to give up.

One of them is recent graduate Wang Lingjia. She earned 5,000 yuan ($690) monthly when she was a customer service specialist in Dongguan. She often worked overtime back then.

According to local media, she was attracted by the high salary of a nanny. In June this year, after 10 days of training at the brokerage company, she went to a meeting with clients along with dozens of other applicants. In the end, she was selected because of her university degree. Satisfied with her 8,000 yuan ($1,100) salary, she eagerly prepared for her job by buying books  that taught cooking and child psychology counseling.

Despite being well prepared, when she arrived at the client’s home she was shocked. The atmosphere in the family where she worked was often tense due to conflicts between them.

Once, during a meal, the grandmother fed her 8-year-old granddaughter with chopsticks, then put the food in the child’s bowl. The child, who was taught by her mother to eat with chopsticks on her own, could not stand her grandmother’s attention and shouted, “I don’t want to.” The grandmother angrily replied to her grandchild, “That’s how I raised your father.”

In addition, Wang’s bedroom fits a small bed and the glass window is completely visible from the outside. “There is no privacy,” she says.

At first, Wang just wanted to find a shortcut to earn money, but she found it wasn’t easy.

Zhang Xinyue describes her life as a nanny in one word: uncomfortable. She graduated last year from a prestigious university in Tianjin, but couldn’t find a satisfying job.

Her client lived on the outskirts of Beijing. In mid-January this year, Zhang became the personal nanny of a 6-year-old girl and lived in the girl’s house. It was a four-story mansion plus a basement with many luxury cars.

However, Zhang shared that she should be careful when doing anything because there are many surveillance cameras all over the house.

Another case is that of Zhou Ye, who left a stressful apprenticeship job with a salary of 1,000 yuan ($138) to apply to be a nanny for a 2-year-old boy for 7,000 yuan ($965).

However, she actually had to help her boss take care of the toddler’s brother, who is only 8 months old.

She decided to quit her job because in the 37 consecutive days she was taking care of the child, she was only allowed to eat cabbage. Although she wanted a good income, her body could not take it; she lost weight and was too weak to continue.

Their stories received more than 6,000 comments on one media platform. 

Data from iiMedia Research shows that from 2015 to 2020, the market size of China’s domestic service industry has grown steadily year on year, reaching 878 billion yuan (about $120 billion) in 2020. This is an increase of about 26.0% over the same period of the previous year.

In 2021, the data has risen to over 1 trillion yuan (about $138 billion), and the size of the domestic service market is expected to remain stable in 2022. Among them, more and more highly educated talents are involved in the industry.

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