Monday, October 26, 2020

Percentage of Men at Work Hits Record Low

Working parents are having a tough time coping with the coronavirus pandemic. Just how tough is spelled out in a Pew Research Center analysis of monthly data from the 2020 Current Population Survey. For many parents, the pandemic means they can't work at all—either they lost their job or they have had to leave the labor force to care for children and supervise their education. 

Only 60.5 percent of all men aged 16 or older were employed and working in September 2020, Pew reports. This is the smallest share of men at work on record and well below the 65.3 percent who were working in September 2019. The trend for women is similar. Only 49.2 percent of women aged 16 or older were employed and working in September 2020, the smallest share in 35 years and down from 54.0 percent in September 2019.

One reason for these low figures is the struggle parents face as they attempt to juggle work, child care, and homeschooling. The percentage of mothers and fathers who were working in September 2020 was well below the 2019 figures. Among fathers, the biggest decline occurred for those with children under age 3. In September 2019, fully 91.9 percent of these fathers were working. In September 2020, a smaller 85.0 percent were working—a 6.9 percentage point drop. Among mothers, those with children aged 3 to 13 registered the biggest decline—a 6.7 percentage point drop. The parents fortunate enough to be working in September 2020 reported fewer hours of work per week than their counterparts did in September 2019. 

The findings of this analysis are in contrast to earlier studies, Pew notes. The earlier studies showed mothers cutting back on work more than fathers. The latest findings show the coronavirus pandemic affecting mothers and fathers similarly. 

Source: Pew Research Center, Fewer Mothers and Fathers in U.S. Are Working Due to Covid-19 Downturn; Those at Work Have Cut Hours

No comments: