For women unemployed during a pandemic, economic recovery can take years — even with Biden’s plans


Experts warn that women who have lost their jobs in the COVID-19 pandemic may wait to work again until 2023, even if the economic initiative proposed by President Joe Biden becomes law. There is.

It may take more than 2 years For women’s employment to return According to the National Women’s Justice Center, which publishes a monthly report on how pandemics affect women’s employment, the industry in which women worked was hit hardest and reached pre-pandemic levels. Has reached. Most of the unemployment has occurred in the hospitality, education, health, government and retail industries, the organization said.

Two proposals by Biden, employment planning and individual family planning initiatives that significantly increase access to benefits such as childcare and paid parental leave, are predicted by economists to support future employment. I will. However, they say this measure does not help much to speed up the process of returning lost women to the workforce.

Moody’s Chief Economist Mark Zandi supports Biden’s proposal, but acknowledges that it aims to address long-term economic growth and income and wealth inequality.

“By early 2023, about two years from now,” Zandy said he expects jobs for both men and women to recover. Pandemic. “

Since the beginning of the pandemic, women have quit or lost at least 4.2 million jobs. About 2 million of these women are still unemployed, according to employment experts.

In a report based on labor data in April, the National Women’s Justice Center stated that women earned 60.5% of the jobs available that month. However, the group said it would take 28 months for women to reach employment levels in February 2020, based on that data.

Jasmine Tucker, research director and co-author of the report at the National Women’s Justice Center, said:

The Biden administration said it would not be upset by lower-than-expected employment growth in April. At the same time, last month’s report argues that it emphasizes the need for presidential initiatives, including an emergency relief fund approved by Congress in March.

“I don’t want to make much use of the monthly data. I found that some months are good for women’s employment and some are not so big. But overall, the trend is that vaccines are safe. As we get to work, more things are resumed, and when work comes back, we see women, including their mothers, returning to the workforce. ”Heather Boushey White House Economic Advisory Board member , Said in an interview.

“We still have more than 8 million jobs less than before the pandemic, so we need to increase all kinds of jobs, which will help both women and men regain their position in the labor market,” Boushey said. I added.

Volatility recovery

With increasing vaccinations and the federal government calling for relaxation of health and safety restrictions, some women-dominated industries, especially hospitality and government jobs, are reappearing. However, analysts and economists say the market remains volatile.

According to the National Women’s Justice Center, hospitality was the biggest driver of women’s employment last month, but most of the industry’s work was directed at men. Meanwhile, other industries continued to work in April. The group said all of last month’s retail unemployment was afflicted by women.

Mark Matthews, vice president of research and development and industry analytics at the National Retail Federation, has reduced the number of cashiers employed by retailers during the heyday of the pandemic, while three in four are women. I argued. Companies are currently struggling to fill the job openings.

“More women than men are back in retail,” he said. “For 930,000 men, more than one million women have returned to retail. The problem is that more women have lost their jobs.”

Republicans claim that the generous federal unemployment allowance discourages people from working. Studies show that women who are interested in working, but not at the time, are now unable to take advantage of affordable childcare.They also cited concerns about school closures and COVID-19 contracts. As a barrier to working During a pandemic.

The White House is backed by plans to invest in home care, provide up to $ 8,000 per family for childcare, free preschool education for everyone, and provide up to 12 weeks of paid family and sick leave. States to be essential to Women who have left the workforce During and before the pandemic.

“There is solid empirical evidence that these types of investments support women’s labor supply by helping workers, especially women, tackle the day-to-day challenges of caring for and working with their families,” Bushey said. Said in a statement.

In the report, Zandy evaluated the initial pace of employment growth. Would be about the same Now that the Presidential Reconstruction Act is in force, with or without Biden’s work and infrastructure plans. But if he passed Biden’s plans, including childcare and paid leave, to McClutch With those suggestions, Employment levels will return to where they were months faster.

“In terms of employment, infrastructure plans will help the economy recover jobs lost in the pandemic recession by early 2023, much like no plans,” Zandy wrote. “But the plan brought significantly more jobs in the middle of the decade, increasing Biden’s employment by 13.5 million during his presidency.”

This is compared to 11.4 million jobs without Biden’s plans and 10.5 million jobs without his rescue plans legislated.

Women’s retraining

Liberal women’s groups, as Biden suggested, argue that they have paid family and medical leave, and that higher wages are also needed to keep women in the workforce.

“If we just provide childcare and people pay substandard wages, have no benefits, no health insurance, and are returning to work without vacations, it remains trapped and moves forward. Over time, it means the ability to empower, and over time, walking the path of work that leads to higher and more sustainable family living wages and communities will diminish. ” Debra Ness, president of the partnership, said.

Biden also demanded $ 40 billion in his infrastructure proposals to help relocated workers learn new skills and connect them with career services. The President’s Vocational Training Initiative focuses on industries that the government expects to be in high demand, such as renewable energy, manufacturing, and long-term care.

C. Nicole Mason, director of the Institute for Women’s Policy, said skills, retraining and apprenticeship programs are “very important” for hiring women who have been unemployed for more than two and a half years, especially black and Latina women. I said there is. The unemployment rate is high.

“We know, even when we were in recovery mode after the 2008 recession … those women were still left behind, and that’s my fear,” she said. It was. “Therefore, even after 23 months, these women, groups of women, blacks and Latina women may take longer to re-enter sustainable employment.”

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