Working Mothers Look for Support from Employers
January 19, 2024
The share of prime-age women in the U.S. labor force reached an all-time high last year, but several factors threaten to erode those gains. First, about 70% of U.S. mothers work, and as we saw firsthand during the pandemic, their ability to hold a job is tied to their access to childcare. That’s a problem because last September, the pandemic-era relief funds propping up the already failing childcare industry ended.
An estimated 70,000 childcare centers are expected to close in the coming years, causing 3.2 million childcare spots to disappear. The ripple effects will be felt across the economy as working parents are pushed out of work.
According to care.com, an estimated two-thirds of American families currently pay at least 20% of their income for childcare, and costs are continuing to rise.
Absent of government intervention, some companies are stepping in. Currently, 13% of employers offer some kind of childcare benefit, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of course, that doesn’t make much difference if there aren’t enough daycares left in business.
According to McKinsey’s 2023 Women in the Workplace report, nearly 40% of mothers with young children say that if they lose their flexible schedules, they’ll have to quit their jobs.
Source: Bloomberg 1/4/23
Courtesy of SBAM-approved partner, ASE.