Nearly 15% of the younger available prime-age U.S. workforce has backed out due to childcare and health issues.
- A new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center reveals the results of an Artemis Strategy Group survey of 2,165 non-working adults between the ages of 20 and 54.
- 20% of the prime-age workforce is not working, with 72% of them saying that they are not in the workforce, usually for personal health or childcare reasons.
- Among survey respondents, 39% say they would continue working if they had paid parental leave and 45% would return to a previous job that offered it.
- Two-thirds of the survey respondents were female, with 43% of women citing child care as an issue compared to 16% of men.
Why It’s Important
The American workforce is changing as new generations become more prominent. Millennials and zoomers have different values and challenges than their baby boomer coworkers. They find less meaning in their careers and show less drive to succeed, preferring to find meaning in other aspects of life.
They are also changing the face of business, demanding more opportunities for remote work and flexible hours. Young people are now facing additional issues with child care and health issues, with the lack of job protections surrounding these two issues driving a sizable portion of the workforce away from their previous jobs.
Remote work has contributed to an increase in women’s labor force participation thanks to the greater flexibility and options it provides for stay-at-home mothers. As Axios notes, similar opportunities could be an effective means to addressing the tight labor market by creating jobs more appealing to this demographic.
As we previously reported, one in five stay-at-home parents in the U.S. are now dads, thanks to ongoing economic and social changes.
“Despite recent gains in labor force participation and near record-low unemployment, nearly 20% of prime-age adults—approximately 24 million Americans—continue to not work, impacting labor productivity and economic growth. Given this large population, experts continue to explore the multi-faceted factors keeping prime-age adults on the sidelines, while lawmakers prioritize solutions to incentivize labor force participation,” says the study.