Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios
The “care economic system” is the spine of the entire economic system — but the U.S. does not have centralized, easy-to-understand information on it. A challenge launched by a former Census Bureau economist this week goals to vary that.
Why it issues: With out strong information, policymakers and media wind up leaning on stereotypes to grasp the economic system — and people stereotypes are sometimes flawed.
- “You possibly can’t repair what you do not measure,” as people like Sheryl Sandberg wish to say.
Driving the information: Misty Heggeness, a professor on the College of Kansas, simply launched “The Care Board.”
- The challenge will measure all of the financial exercise surrounding the trouble to take care of different people — together with “establishments like day care, preschools, in-home care, nursing properties, janitorial work, nannies, home tasks and extra,” she mentioned in a press launch.
The issue: Trying again, incomplete information meant that the story informed about ladies within the pandemic wasn’t fairly proper, Heggeness informed Axios.
- To wit: There is a well-liked notion that girls with school-aged youngsters dropped out of the workforce throughout the pandemic due to youngster care points.
- It was tough to see if this was really true. Official labor power participation numbers do not observe parental standing — you’ll be able to’t rapidly search for the Bureau of Labor Statistics information on the employment of moms, as you’ll be able to for different cohorts.
- So, Heggeness, who was a principal economist on the Census Bureau throughout COVID, used her spare time to piece collectively information from completely different sources — and he or she discovered a distinct story.
By the numbers: Girls with school-aged youngsters (age 5-17) had increased charges of workforce participation than ladies of the identical age with no children at dwelling, in keeping with her evaluation of Census and BLS information.
- And, although a few of these ladies did go away the workforce, they got here again quicker than different teams. (See the chart beneath.)
Why’d so many individuals get the story flawed? “We now have restricted granular information about ladies in work,” Heggeness mentioned.
- “And we see drops in ladies’s labor power participation general, we mechanically [think] it have to be youngster care.”
The massive image: The care economic system has gotten extra consideration popping out of the pandemic.
- Simply this week the Biden administration launched what it is calling a “historic” effort to develop entry to youngster care — a minimum of amongst federal staff, navy households and organizations that obtain authorities funds.
- And lately, the Labor Division has began monitoring the price of youngster care on the state stage.
What’s subsequent: Together with her challenge, Heggeness hopes to centralize information in a single simply accessible clearinghouse for policymakers, journalists, nonprofits, and many others.
- She additionally hopes to push authorities companies to include these numbers of their official stats.