NEW RESEARCH SHOWS CARE INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENTS CREATE 5.3 MILLION NEW JOBS AND GROW THE ECONOMY IN 18 KEY STATES

Investments Will Aid Populations Hit Hard By Covid-19 — Especially Women — And Address Economic Inequality

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), TIME’S UP Foundation President and CEO Tina Tchen, Women Effect Fund Co-founder Lisa Guide, and economist Lenore Palladino unveiled new research on a press call hosted by Invest in America and Women Effect Fund, showing the economic impact of care investments in key states.

The state-by-state research, which is based on a national analysis that found that a $775 billion, 10-year investment in the care economy would create 22 million jobs nationwide, highlights the fact that beyond improving the lives of the seniors, children, people with disabilities and others served by the care economy, investments like those the Biden administration has proposed will create jobs, grow the economy and help counter the economic effects of the pandemic in 18 states. The research’s findings can be found in this fact sheet.

“No one should be forced to choose between caring for a loved one or looking out for their safety and losing a paycheck,” said Senator Maggie Hassan. “For the last 32 years, my family has benefited greatly from strong, and caring, and creative people who have come to our home to support our son, and in the process, enabled our family not only to feel like any other family but to live like any other family — to have jobs, go to work, and to contribute to the economy. That’s what investing in caregiving is about: making sure people in need and families in need have the support, but also making sure that caregivers who do so much for the rest of us have the kind of career paths that will really allow them to support their families and shine.”

“Women’s labor force participation is at levels we have not seen since the 1980s — we have literally wiped out decades of progress in increasing women in the labor force,” said Tina Tchen, president and CEO of TIME’S UP Foundation. “That comes at a cost — not just to those women, but to businesses that are struggling to find and keep talent and to our overall economy. Without major care infrastructure investments, we will not grow as fast as we need to and we will not stay competitive with our global competitors who have care infrastructure.”

“The figures shared today make a crucial point at this moment: the next era of American prosperity will be built on a foundation of opportunity for every hardworking American and these building blocks that enable that opportunity must be in place,” said Lisa Guide, co-founder of the Women Effect Fund, and associate director of the Rockefeller Family Fund. “That includes roads and bridges, affordable transit, dependable broadband — and a sustainable care economy. Some have argued care for seniors, children, Americans in residential care, or the disabled is not part of the infrastructure of prosperity, but if you ask any family member that has seen their well being undermined by the lack of child care or the need to stay home to care for an aging parent during the pandemic or otherwise, it is a hollow and outdated argument.”

“We know that investing in the care workforce is incredibly important not just for the people who need care, but also for the care workforce and the economy as a whole,” said Lenore Palladino, Assistant Professor of Economics & Public Policy at University of Massachusetts Amherst and fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. “Investing in care infrastructure gets women back to work and creates hundreds of thousands of new jobs. These investments could generate 450,000 new jobs in Arizona, 118,000 new jobs in West Virginia, and 39,000 new jobs in New Hampshire. As we transition into a services economy, we need to pay caregivers a family-supporting wage to ensure accessibility and sustainability for all.”

Among the findings:

  • Care economy investments will create thousands of new jobs in key states — an estimated 562,800 in Michigan, nearly 500,000 in Pennsylvania, more than 450,000 in Arizona, about 360,000 in Virginia and more than 265,000 in Wisconsin. Even in states with smaller workforces, the impact will be substantial: an estimated 118,000 new jobs in West Virginia and nearly 34,000 in New Hampshire.
  • These investments can help return women to the workforce. Thousands of women have had to give up on working because of the effects of the pandemic; women’s workforce participation has fallen by more than 4 percentage points in Michigan and New Hampshire, for example. Because women make up nearly 9 in 10 care workers in critical states, job creation in the care economy can help reverse the detrimental effects of the pandemic.
  • Care economy investment can have a profound effect on economic prospects for people of color. Care economy jobs are disproportionately filled by people of color in key states; they make up 61 percent of such workers in Virginia, 57 percent in Arizona, and more than a third of care workers in Pennsylvania and Michigan. That means care economy investments can create new jobs for communities hardest hit by the health and economic effects of COVID-19.

Care economy investment also has strong, bipartisan support from voters nationwide and in key states. Among recent surveys: 

  • Morning Consult poll found voters support the $400 billion for caregiving in the American Jobs Plan by 76 to 13 percent; that support is bipartisan, including 64 percent of Republicans who support the plan.
  • Data for Progress poll found similar strong, bipartisan support, with voters approving the $400 billion care economy proposal by 74 to 18 percent, including 64 percent of Republicans.
  • WEAF polling in the days after the November election found that 74 percent of battleground state voters, including 57 percent of Trump voters, supported caregiving elements of the Build Back Better plan

Future research will assess impact of Biden administration’s focus on raising wages for caregiving workers, whose compensation doesn’t match their contributions.

View the press conference here.

About Invest in America

Invest In America is a national rapid response operation advocating for robust public investment to rescue the economy from the COVID crisis and create prosperity for the future, and to fight back against fear-mongers who use deficit concerns as a scapegoat to starve American communities and businesses of resources.

The operation consists of two components: Invest in America, the charitable and public education arm, which is a fiscally sponsored project of Economic Security Project funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Economic Security Project co-chair Chris Hughes; and Invest in America Action, the advocacy and social welfare arm, which is a fiscally sponsored project of Economic Security Project Action funded by Chris Hughes and the Omidyar Network.

Learn more at InvestInAmericaNow.com and @InvestNowUSA, and InvestinAmericaProject.com.

About Women Effect Fund 

The Women Effect Fund is dedicated to achieving true and lasting economic equity for women and their families. By fighting for family friendly economic policies like paid family and medical leave, paid sick days and affordable elder and child care and by and building a movement of people who share our goals, we foster the conditions for broader culture change.

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