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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As the pandemic drags on, child care is not getting any easier for working parents, and more and more are hitting their limits and leaving their jobs, per a new report from the think tank Third Way, provided exclusively to Axios.

The big picture: Lack of child care is now the third-most cited reason for not working, behind layoffs and furloughs. At the very beginning of the pandemic, it was No. 5.

What's happening: Prices at child care centers have gone up nearly 50% since the onset of the pandemic due to increased sanitization and staffing costs, making them unaffordable for many Americans.

  • And the 56% of Americans who rely on relatives or grandparents to take care of their kids can no longer do so because it's unsafe.
  • So more and more parents — especially mothers — are dropping out of the labor force for their children.

Superstar cities are seeing big increases in labor market dropouts related to child care, Third Way found.

  • Since late April, New York has had 240,000 such cases; San Francisco, 50,000; Houston, 110,000.

Worth noting: The pandemic is hurting child care providers, too. 1 in 5 jobs in the child care industry — which disproportionately employs women of color — are now gone.

The bottom line: "The crumbling child care industry is increasingly holding back economic recovery across the country," writes Jillian McGrath, an economic policy adviser at Third Way.

Go deeper

Feb 23, 2021 - Health

California to provide $600 stimulus payments to 5.7 million people

Gov. Gavin Newsom during a Feb. 12 news conference in San Francisco. Photo: Gabrielle Lurie/Pool/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has pledged to sign into law Tuesday a measure to provide some 5.7 million people with at least $600 in one-off payments as part of a state COVID-19 relief package.

Driving the news: State lawmakers on Monday overwhelmingly voted for the bill, designed to help people on lower incomes through the pandemic.

55 mins ago - Technology

Microsoft looks to leapfrog Big Tech competitors with major acquisitions

Data: CB Insights; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Microsoft is trying to leapfrog competitors like Google and Amazon as they face record antitrust scrutiny.

The big picture: The deals Microsoft has been eyeing are larger than its usual targets and bigger than those of its competitors.

Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Scoop: DraftKings readies major media push

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

DraftKings has hired Brian Angiolet, former senior vice president and chief business officer officer at Verizon, as the company’s first-ever chief media officer.

Details: Angiolet will lead a team responsible for evaluating potential media acquisitions and content efforts, sources tell Axios. The team will help vet future deals and content partnerships that the company will use to help drive customer referrals to its sportsbook.

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