U.S. Moms Working at Home Were More Likely to Quit in Pandemic
(Bloomberg) -- Mothers who were able to work from home during the pandemic were more likely to leave their jobs than those who worked onsite, according to a new paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
The likelihood to quit varied depending on the level of education, however.
Highly educated moms working from home disproportionately left their jobs because of childcare responsibilities, according to the paper, written by U.S. Census Bureau economist Misty Heggeness and the University of Maryland’s Palak Suri. Those in low-skilled teleworking positions were more likely to keep their jobs due to financial constraints.
“Mothers with a college degree or higher working in telework-compatible occupations bore the brunt of labor force exits and they are still disproportionately out eighteen months after the pandemic started,” the authors wrote.
Women were a key driver in workforce growth before the pandemic. The Covid-19 recession initially pushed about 6.3 million women aged 25 to 54 out of the job market. Although many have returned, the paper signals that child care will be central to bringing back those who are still on the sidelines.
Educated mothers working onsite in hospitals or managing construction sites who found care for their children were less likely to leave, according to the study.
Mothers in lower paid jobs -- whether teleworking or working onsite -- suffered the most from the pandemic stress because they kept working while taking care of their kids.
“They most likely paid a price, however, in terms of exhaustion and burn out,” the authors said.
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