In January of 2020, for only the second time in the history of American labor statistics, women outnumbered men in the American workforce – a headline-making milestone. At the same time, however, another rare but significant story was developing – one that would ultimately lead to the worst job-losses among women in the history of our country. 

The pandemic hit female-dominated industries the hardest: Hospitality, education, health care, and retail. By April of 2020, the pandemic had caused 4.2 million women to exit the labor force.
And even as there was a slight rebound in early summer of 2020, losses continued to chip away at any gains made as more women excited the labor force to be caregivers of young children. By early spring of 2021, there was still a 2 million job deficit among women in the labor force.

In a speech in April of 2021, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said, “Our policymaking has not accounted for the fact that people’s work lives and their personal lives are inextricably linked, and if one suffers so does the other.”

What can we learn about the real cost of personal and family labor by reflecting on how this pandemic-fueled recession disproportionately affected women? 

Guests: 
Dr. Sucharita Sinha Mukherjee, Professor of Economics, CSB/SJU
Chef Madelyn Adamski, Community Member and Small Business Start-Up

Show Notes:

Report: Great Recession, great recovery? Trends from the Current Population Survey 

Article: As the overall job market stumbles back, women still struggle to recover lost employment

Article: Why Some Women Call This Recession a ‘Shecession’

Article: A year from the start of the women’s recession, 2 million women are still out of the workforce

Article: Women outnumber men in the American workforce for only the second time

Report: When Women Lose All the Jobs: Essential Actions for a Gender-Equitable Recovery

Article: St. Cloud business survey: Unemployment benefits hurting hiring

Article: Central Minnesota firms struggle with worker shortages, supply chain issues  

Survey Report: RESULTS OF MAY 2021 SURVEY OF GREATER ST. CLOUD/CENTRAL MINNESOTA ORGANIZATIONS 

Data: Minnesota Unemployment 

Data: Labor Force Participation Rates 

Report: Wage Inequality and the Stagnation of Earnings of Low-Wage Workers: Contributing
Factors and Policy Options 

Report: A SLOW CLIMB BACK FROM THE “SHE-CESSION”: HIGH JOBS DEFICIT IN CHILD CARE AND SCHOOL SECTORS CONTINUES 

Report: YOUNG WOMEN WORKERS STILL STRUGGLING A DECADE AFTER
THE GREAT RECESSION: LESSONS FOR THE PANDEMIC RECOVERY 

Article: Women Left Their Jobs To Be Caregivers. A Business Coalition Wants Companies To Help 

Article: After mass closures and too little support, post-pandemic child care options will be scarce

Data: American Time Use Survey 

Press release: Warren, Jones and Colleagues Reintroduce Universal Child Care and Early Learning Act and Call for President Biden to Invest $700 Billion in Child Care

Press release: Clark Introduces the Child Care is Infrastructure Act 

Report: Child care in rural Minnesota after 2020 

Data: Minimum-wage rates in Minnesota 

Data: Cost of Child Care in Minnesota 

 

Episode Manager: Malik Stewart

Produced by Riverside Productions LLC

Music by Epidemic Sound

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Featured Songs:
Mannerisms – Charles Holme
Clockings – Marten Moses
Everyday Hustle – Matt Large
I’m Free – DJ DENZ The Rooster
Just In Time For Dessert – Trabant 33
Labor Life – Giants’ Nest