Source: Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, February 24, 2019
For the college-educated elite, work has morphed into a religious identity—promising identity, transcendence, and community, but failing to deliver.
…. The economists of the early 20th century did not foresee that work might evolve from a means of material production to a means of identity production. They failed to anticipate that, for the poor and middle class, work would remain a necessity; but for the college-educated elite, it would morph into a kind of religion, promising identity, transcendence, and community. Call it workism. ….
Source: Heidi Steinour, The Conversation, February 22, 2019
The cost of having children in the U.S. has climbed exponentially since the 1960s. So it’s no wonder the growing crop of Democratic presidential candidates have been proposing ways to address or bring down the costs tied to raising a family.
Most recently, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said she wants to provide universal access to child care. According to her proposal, the U.S. would partner with local governments and other organizations to provide various child care options, paying for it with revenue from her wealth tax.
Whether or not Warren’s proposal becomes law, the data show a worsening problem. In 2015, American parents spent, on average, US$233,610 on child costs from birth until the age of 17, not including college. This number covers everything from housing and food to child care and transportation costs. This is up 8 percent from 1990.
As a mother myself, as well as a sociologist who studies families, I have experienced firsthand the unexpected costs associated with having a child. And this spike in costs has broad implications, including leading fewer families to have children…..
Source: Katrina A Burch Alicia G Dugan Janet L Barnes-Farrell, Work, Aging and Retirement, Volume 5, Issue 1, 18 January 2019
From the abstract:
The purpose of this article is to provide a contemporary, globally focused, multidisciplinary review of the existing literature on eldercare responsibilities and the implications of these responsibilities for working adults and organizations, taking a multilevel perspective. Two major reviews of the impact of eldercare responsibilities on work for employed informal caregivers have been conducted in the past 25 years. However, an update to the extant literature is warranted given that prior reviews have not taken a holistic perspective in understanding eldercare for employees and organizations. In addition, a number of empirical articles about work and informal elder caregiving have been published across multiple disciplines since these reviews were written. Utilizing and extending the work in prior reviews, we propose a model to serve as an organizing framework for understanding the informal eldercare process. Our model includes antecedents to—and consequences of—informal eldercare responsibilities and identifies components of a feedback loop. We also include a discussion of the resources available at the individual, family/social, organizational, and community levels that are available and useful in managing informal elder caregiving and paid employment. Finally, we identify gaps in the extant literature and provide recommendations for future research.
Source: Shilpa Phadke and Diana Boesch, Center for American Progress, January 18, 2019
…. This column reviews how women’s work is segmented and undervalued; how workers at the margins—such as domestic workers, farm laborers, part-time workers, and gig economy workers—face persistent barriers and inequality; and how policymakers must prioritize centering workers’ voices and holistic needs and experiences as they craft meaningful economic policy. While this column does not detail the myriad ways in which women often struggle to maintain their economic security to the detriment of their health, it is important to emphasize that women do not live their lives in silos, and access to a range of programs and policies, such as comprehensive reproductive health services, as well as access to affordable education and skills-based learning, are critical to women’s economic success. ….
Source: Cailin Crowe, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 19, 2018
…. The University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Columbia College, in South Carolina, saw similar stories. In each case the professor was praised for selflessly offering to watch a student’s baby in lieu of professional child care. While the professor’s generosity was commendable, the posts also highlighted the unmet demand for child care on campuses.
The posts go viral because they illustrate a systemic problem, said Barbara Gault, vice president and executive director of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. People understand that colleges and universities don’t always recognize the caregiving responsibilities of students who are also parents. “It’s a statement about something bigger,” she said.
More than 25 percent of college students are parents of dependent children, according to the institute. However, the idea that colleges and universities should provide child care is still a fairly new concept, Gault said. ….
…. One obvious solution is on-campus day-care centers. For example, at Monroe Community College, in New York, student parents of young children at the campus’s day-care center have on-time graduation rates three times as high as student parents who did not use the center.
But on many campuses, including the institutions where some of those feel-good viral stories have taken place, the reality for students who have kids in need of child care is much different. ….
Source: Janette Dill, Adrianne Frech, Social Forces, Advance Articles, December 12, 2018
From the abstract:
Navigating the labor market in today’s economy has become increasingly difficult for those without a college degree. In this study, we ask whether and how working-class men and women in the United States are able to secure gains in wages and/or earnings as they transition to parenthood or increase family size. We look closely at child parity, employment behavior (e.g., switching employers, taking on multiple jobs, increasing hours), and occupation in the year after the birth of a child. Using the 2004 and 2008 panels of the Survey for Income and Program Participation (SIPP), we employ fixed-effects models to examine the impact of changing labor market behavior or occupation on wages and earnings after the birth of a child. We find limited evidence that low- and middle-skill men experience a “fatherhood premium” after the birth of a child, conditional on child parity and occupation. For men, nearly all occupations were associated with a “wage penalty” after the birth of a child (parity varies) compared to the service sector. However, overall higher wages in many male-dominated and white-collar occupations make these better options for fathers. For women, we see clear evidence of a “motherhood penalty,” which is partly accounted for by employment behaviors, such as switching to a salaried job or making an occupational change.
Source: Ariel Marek Pihl, Gaetano Basso, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Volume 38 Issue 1, Winter 2019
From the abstract:
The effects of paid parental leave policies on infant health have yet to be established. In this paper we investigate these effects by exploiting the introduction of California Paid Family Leave (PFL), the first program in the U.S. that specifically provides working parents with paid time off for bonding with a newborn. We measure health using the full census of infant hospitalizations in California and a set of control states, and implement a differences‐in‐differences approach. Our results suggest a decline in infant admissions, which is concentrated among those causes that are potentially affected by closer childcare (and to a lesser extent breastfeeding). Other admissions that are unlikely to be affected by parental leave do not exhibit the same pattern.
Source: Rasheed Malik, Katie Hamm, Leila Schochet, Cristina Novoa, Simon Workman, and Steven Jessen-Howard, Center for American Progress, December 6, 2018
A new analysis of child care supply in every U.S. neighborhood finds that approximately half the country has too few licensed child care options.
Source: Theresa A. Kelly and Alba V. Aviles, Employee Benefit Plan Review ,Vol. 72, No. 12, November/December 2018
Several states across the country (including most recently Connecticut and Massachusetts) have enacted legislation that provides additional protections to pregnant employees. In these laws, pregnancy is broadly defined to include not only pregnancy, but also childbirth and related conditions (such as lactation and expressing milk for a nursing child).
Many of these laws require an employer to reasonably accommodate a pregnant employee unless the employer can demonstrate that doing so would result in undue hardship—a difficult standard to meet. This article provides an overview of the recently enacted legislation in Connecticut and Massachusetts, as well as similar requirements in New Jersey and New York. ….
Source: Jonathan Timm, The Atlantic, October 29, 2018
Besides fighting for workers’ benefits, unions can influence whether workers take advantage of the ones already available to them, a new study shows.
Labor Unions Help Employees Take More Paid Maternity Leave
Source: Vanderbilt University – Owen Graduate School of Management, Press release, September 20, 2018
Union-represented working mothers are at least 17 percent more likely to use paid maternity leave than comparable nonunion working mothers Facilitating working mothers’ use of paid maternity leave is a key issue for policymakers and workers in many countries. And the United States is far behind in this global movement; the United States is the only industrialized nation that lacks universal paid leave for new parents, although there are now a very small number of state-based programs and many employer-provided plans.
…. Park, in new research to be published in the Industrial and Labor Relations Review, breaks down the leave-taking decision into four key steps:
– Availability: The policy needs to be available,
– Awareness: the worker needs to be aware of it,
– Affordability: the worker needs to believe she can afford to take a leave, and
– Assurance: the worker needs to have implicit or explicit assurances that taking paid leave is unlikely to result in negative consequences…..