NORWALK - Increased unemployment among high-paid domestic employees shows that the current economic downturn is affecting southwestern Connecticut residents of all classes, including the wealthy.

Regal Domestic Limited, which places professional household staff members in wealthy Greenwich residences, says its clients are cutting back. Agency owner Rosemary Peck says employees, such as nannies, housekeepers and butlers, are frequently telling her that their employers have lost millions of dollars and can no longer afford to pay them.

Peck says some employers are also consolidating their household staff and looking for housekeepers who take care of children, or nannies that can clean.

However, the owner of Adecco Employment Service says her company?s doing well because many people are looking to switch careers and hopefully get into an industry that?s weathering the financial storm better than others.

"When we find a person that typically has a skill level that we feel we can market, even if we don't have an opportunity, we then try to create an opportunity," says owner Phyllis Andrews.