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Getting women back to work is crucial to boosting economy, White House says


Kellie Bhattacharya had hoped to be back in work by now but was thwarted when the coronavirus pandemic erupted.

After her second baby was born, the California mom of two quit her job.  

Bhattacharya stated that child care costs would eat the majority of his salary. It didn’t make any sense to me to leave and bring home only a modest salary.

As her preschool-aged daughter Ava reached preschool age, she planned to return to public relations. She has found that she is now homeschooling her daughter, three, and six-year old son, Eli. 

Bhattacharya stated, “I never imagined we’d be here right now.” Bhattacharya wants to get her children vaccinated as well as to find affordable quality childcare before returning to work. 

Although experts predicted that women would be returning to work once schools are reopened for the fall, instead the situation has gotten worse.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, September’s jobs report showed that around 300,000 women had left the workforce in September. Three million women have left the workforce since the outbreak of the 2020 pandemic. To keep the U.S.’s economic engine running smoothly, it is vital to bring those women back.

Heather Boushey of White House Council of Economic Advisers said, “If we could increase our labor market attachment, especially of caregivers and women, this would have significant effects on U.S. growth.”

But it’s not just child care that’s keeping women on the sidelines. The largest job losses in sectors that are dominated by women have been experienced in those areas. According to BLS data, the combined employment in private and public education and state government has dropped by 676,000 since before and during the pandemic.

According to a National Women’s Law Center analysis, September saw 220,000 men gain jobs and 220,000 for women.

Biden’s administration proposes sweeping reforms to strengthen what Democrats call “the care economy”, including universal preschool, paid family time, a cap on child-care costs equal to a portion of household income and an expansion of the Child Tax Credit.

Kamala Harris, the Vice President, is holding events that emphasize the necessity to address these problems and focus on achieving the administration’s objectives.

Harris spoke at a Thursday morning virtual town hall, saying that for too long investments in care have been at the bottom of the priority lists. 

Conservatives feel that the Biden plans are an excessive correction to current events. They support a targeted approach. 

Angela Rachidi is senior fellow at American Enterprise Institute. She stated that they are proposing to establish what actually constitutes a childcare entitlement where all families regardless of their income will be eligible for a subsidy. According to her, these subsidies will come with new requirements for child care providers which could worsen the situation for those who are most in need.

Rachidi forecasted that “in-home care providers or small child caregivers will not be well prepared to deal with new regulations, and they will get out completely of the child care industry.”

Rachidi suggested that getting rid of the pandemic, and using a market approach like employers giving employees flexibility, would be a great way for women to get back into the workforce.

Bhattacharya stated that she hopes she can resume her career, and that a flexible employer will be one of the keys to her success.

She said, “Now that I am a mother, I have more flexibility than you can as a single individual.”

She said that the uncertainty caused by the pandemic continues to make it difficult for people to be patient. Also, you have to learn how to forgive yourself.