Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) – While the pandemic has hit everyone hard, when it comes to the workplace, mothers with children 12 years old and younger have been hit the hardest, according to a new Stateline analysis from The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Per the September analysis, mothers with younger children have lost their jobs at a rate that is three times higher than fathers with children of the same age group. Between February and August, mothers with children 12 years and younger lost 2.2 million jobs, resulting in a 12 percent drop. Comparatively, fathers of children in the same age category lost 870,000 jobs, which equated to only a 4 percent drop in job rates.
When broken out by marital status, single mothers were hit even harder. The job rate dropped by 16 percent for single mothers compared to a 6 percent drop for single fathers, according to a Population Survey data analysis from researchers at University of Minnesota.
Those mothers that were able to continue working reduced their hours four to five times more than fathers according to researchers from Washington University in St. Louis. This pushed the job rate gender gap by 20 to 50 percent.
Looking at the Census Bureau data from April 23rd until July 21st, the largest job loss across the U.S. occurred during the last week of the survey at 126,554,411 jobs. A question is whether or not these numbers will increase as the school year reaches full swing in different areas of the country.
Part of the difficulty that parents are facing is navigating the management of their children at home during working hours, when in a normal environment they would be under supervision by teachers at school. According to an August report from the Census Bureau, 93 percent of school age children were completing school by “distance learning” methods with around 80 percent of children learning online and 20 percent learning from hard copy materials that were sent home. Households with lower incomes were more likely to utilize hard copy material while higher income families turned to online schooling.
While online learning offers an option for children to continue their education, virtual schooling comes with a price. In some cases, online video sessions can last an entire day, requiring parents to monitor their children more closely. Connectivity issues that require an adult to trouble-shoot have also been an issue, especially in rural areas where many cellphone carriers are experiencing outages due to the increase in cell tower traffic.
According to a May report from Brookings, the middle class would not be the driving force in America without working mothers. Recognizing the need for working mothers to be included in the workplace, some employers are attempting to accommodate their employees who have children so that they can continue working. Some employers are going so far as to offer “nanny stipends” to assist mothers with their childcare needs through the pandemic. Some states are stepping up as well, offering child-care subsidies for those parents working at home.
The Stateline analysis goes on to comment that if women continue to lose jobs at the current rate, it could potentially have long lasting recessional effects.