Mothers Are Entering the Workforce at Full Speed. But Why?
According to the Financial Times, mothers are re-entering the workforce at significantly high rates, with “more mothers in the workforce … since the labour department began tracking them in 1948, according to an analysis of government labour market data.” But what is causing this?
University of Kansas professor Misty Heggeness is attributing much of this increase to the struggles of covering economic needs for the family, especially since it is mothers who are returning to the workforce more than women without children. “My interpretation,” Heggeness said, “is that moms had to come back to work.” She added, “In today’s economy, being a one-earner family is becoming a luxury of the ultra-rich.”
With COVID occurring in 2020, consumer price inflation made any existing economic struggles considerably worse. In fact, mothers entering the workforce at that time has been deemed a large contributing factor to the post-pandemic recovery, where over 22 million jobs were lost.
Many say it is the rising costs due to “Bidenomics” that is pushing mothers back into the workforce, but this reason is being used as both positive and negative. The White House made a statement on Mother’s Day celebrating these statistics of mothers in the workforce. The statement’s opening read, “We celebrate the vital role mothers play in our economy — by both doing the important work of raising children and contributing to our country’s productivity and economic growth.”
On the other hand, Heggeness and other experts argue that the Biden economy is forcing mothers to work because their families are in need of dual incomes due to inflated prices.
In comments to The Washington Stand, FRC Senior Fellow for Education Studies Meg Kilgannon emphasized the benefits of having at least one parent at home. “Let’s not forget that school closures forced parents of young children to quit jobs when the children were kept at home for weeks and months on end,” she said. “It’s pretty well documented that parents of young children prefer to have a parent home with their children if at all possible.”
In relation to Biden’s economic policies and COVID’s effect on the economy, Kilgannon added, “Crippling inflation and skyrocketing housing costs are making things very tough for all Americans, and especially families.” She concluded by pointing to the need to pray for families to “be a source of strength during hard times, rather than weakened by unnecessary pressures caused by poor policy choices and overspending politicians.”
Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.