What’s going on:
While the unemployment rate has reached its lowest rate in over 50 years, the exorbitant cost and scarcity of childcare is deterring many parents from entering the workforce. In fact, according to the Labor Department, there are 58,000 fewer daycare workers last month than just before the pandemic.
Despite the 11 million job openings present at the end of last year, the absence of childcare remains an obstacle for many individuals.
Why it matters:
The Labor Department’s report has revealed that the limited pool of labor is causing costs to climb. For instance, the median price for center-based childcare for infants is ranging from $8,000 in rural counties to a $17,000 in big cities.
To make matters worse, these hefty care expenses often consume up to one-fifth of the median family income in bustling metropolitan areas, thus making it harder for mothers to find a job.
How it’ll impact the future:
In counties with prices 50% higher than the national median, maternal employment saw a dip of 2 percentage points, but in those that were twice as expensive as the median, the drop in maternal employment was a steeper 4 percentage points.
“We just can’t compete with employers in other industries who are able to offer higher wages, flexible hours, remote work,” said Erica Kral, founder and CEO of Green Garden Child Development Center.
Without supporting working parents, organizations are at a higher risk of turnover and depleted job satisfaction.