When people talk about paid leave, it is often framed as a women’s issue. However, this article by the New York Times reminds us that this is an economic issue. One big reason is the number of women in the workforce is declining after decades of steady increases.
Other European countries have adopted policies like subsidized childcare, paid leave, maternity leave, and other ways to help families. The US has not followed suit. Giving women a way to stay connected with the workforce and have a clear path back to employment helps create a reliable workforce, gives businesses added certainty, and improves the economy overall. Failing to address the issue is causing the US to fall behind in the number of women in the workforce, which, in turn, reduces our international competitiveness.
It is time to find a way to address paid leave in the United States. This isn’t an issue reserved for women and their families. It impacts our entire economy. With women earning 59% of higher education degrees, our country cannot continue to lose so many women in our workforce.
MBPC is a nonprofit organization focused on providing credible and timely research and analysis on budget, tax, and economic issues that impact low- and moderate-income Montana families.