Study: Young women need better, higher-paying jobs after pandemic recession
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Jobs are coming back in this economy, as more people get vaccinated and more businesses reopen. But there’s still a long way to go to full recovery, especially in the face-to-face service sector, which employed a lot of young women.
A new study by The Institute for Women’s Policy Research concludes that there were “preexisting inequalities in the labor markets” going into this pandemic recession, and calls for change to make sure the recovery from this downturn is more equitable than the way the economy emerged from the Great Recession.
Researcher and study author Shengwei Sun looked at the labor market for women ages 16 to 24 during the pandemic. “Young women suffered the largest percentage decline in employment, largely due their concentration in retail and service sectors,” she said.
Sun said young women were already falling behind economically after the last recession, which pushed many young women into taking part-time, low-wage jobs without paid sick time.
So when kids and elders needed care at home in the current pandemic, keeping those jobs became even harder, Sun said. “Young women are more likely than young men to identify care responsibilities as the main reason for them to not be able to work for pay.”
The first priority now, according to Robert Frick at Navy Federal Credit Union, is to get “preschools, child care and schools back working.”
The Institute for Women’s Policy Research is advocating for structural change like more federal spending on child care facilities and staff, mandatory paid leave and training for women to get into higher-paying jobs in construction and manufacturing.
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