Dec 13, 2019

Fewer women say family responsibilities keep them out of the labor force

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Note: Chart shows women who want a job; Chart: Axios Visuals

Fewer women who want a job, but have given up looking for work, are citing "family responsibilities" as the reason.

Why it matters: In fact, the number is at a low for this economic cycle, according to quarterly data by the BLS — though it's still more than double that of men, who are more likely to cite other reasons for dropping out of the labor force.

What's going on: Women in general are hopping back into the labor market at a faster rate than before. Part of the reason behind the drop in those would-be workers citing "family responsibilities" could be employers are forced to be open to more flexible work arrangements in the tight labor market.

  • Yes, but: Julia Pollak, a labor economist at employment marketplace ZipRecruiter, points out that the "share of job postings on ZipRecruiter offering parental leave has risen tenfold since 2016, but from a very low base ... from 0.03% of jobs in 2016 to 0.3% of jobs now."
  • That's still way below 1%, she adds.

Of note: "When a firm is offering [a parental leave] benefit, not all their employees are getting it," Liz Peters, a fellow at the Urban Institute, tells Axios.

  • "There's a big socio-economic gradient. It's more likely to be offered at firms that have more high-wage or high-skill workers than those in firms that have a larger proportion of low-wage workers."

Go deeper: Corporate america feels pressure to step up paid parental leave policies

Go deeper

An unsettling future for millions of American jobs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The U.S. economy is besting expectations for job growth, and the unemployment rate is at its lowest in several decades — but the other side of the story is that millions of jobs out there just aren't good enough.

Why it matters: Almost half of all American workers are stuck in low-wage jobs that often don't pay enough to support their lives, lack benefits and sit squarely inside the automation bullseye.

Corporate America is pressured to boost paid parental leave

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As legislation moves forward to give 12 weeks of paid parental leave to civilian federal workers, corporate America is feeling pressure to follow suit — or at least offer sweeter policies.

Why it matters: The U.S. is the only industrialized country that doesn't mandate paid leave for new parents. While there are federal rules about unpaid leave, most companies set their own rules, with an eye toward their bottom lines.

Go deeperArrowDec 13, 2019

Women outpace men on U.S. payrolls

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Note: Men count was derived by subtracting women count from total; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

There are more women on American payrolls than men as of the latest U.S. jobs report.

Why it matters: The data reflects a hiring boom in industries that are female-dominated, while sectors that are more likely to employ men are lagging in job gains. The last time women overtook men in payrolls was “during a stretch between June 2009 and April 2010,” according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the milestone.

Go deeperArrowJan 10, 2020