Without reliable childcare, hundreds of thousands of women were forced to choose between their careers and their children.
We know that millions of Americans lost their jobs as businesses shuttered, sometimes permanently, and schooling largely moved online for most students.
A new study examined employment rates in states where daycares closed during the spring of 2020. Researchers found that women with children under the age of six were more likely to lose their jobs during those closures.
Without reliable childcare, roughly 611,000 women were forced to leave their jobs.
The findings were published in JAMA Health Forum.
This is astounding. Childcare closures during the pandemic were associated with 611,000 US women leaving the workfo… https://t.co/JEQq0xW1l9— jenabbasi (@jenabbasi)1625068099.0
Employment among men and women dropped sharply nationwide in April 2020—but women in states with child care closures saw the greatest job losses. Compared to men, women were 2.6% less likely to be employed while daycares were closed.
The researchers estimate that among 23.5 million working mothers last year, 611,000 lost their jobs during that time. Black and Hispanic moms were more likely to be forced out of the workforce, too.
Over the first ten months of the pandemic, more than 2.3 million American women left their jobs, according to the National Women's Law Center. Just under 1.8 million men lost their jobs during the same time.
Over the first 10 months of the pandemic, 2.3 million women left the labor force compared to 1.8 million men. New… https://t.co/h7cll8CDwl— Vanderbilt Dept. of Health Policy (@Vanderbilt Dept. of Health Policy)1625074320.0
That mothers chose to leave their careers to care for their children during a turbulent time isn't altogether surprising. But we should be outraged that so many women were forced to make that choice.
We need more from our employers and from society.
We need mothers to be taken seriously—not just as child carers, but as professionals and people.
Because when mothers thrive, we all do.
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