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Stronger Together: Union Membership Boosts Women’s Earnings and Economic Security

In every state, unionized women out earn women in non-union jobs—an essential wage advantage that would increase women’s economic security following the pandemic-induced “she-cession.” This brief shares insights on the ways unions narrow gender wage gaps and improve economic security for all women.

“Nevertheless, I Persisted and Graduated”: A Single Mom’s Journey

This guest blog post is authored by Zoe Erickson in collaboration with IWPR’s Student Parent Success Initiative. Zoe graduated with her Bachelor's degree in June 2020 from Portland State University and is expected to obtain her Master of Public Policy at Portland State University by June 2022. Zoe is also a recipient of services of the Resource Center for Students with Children program at Portland State University.

Leveraging Head Start for Student Parent Families

Student parents face significant challenges that can limit their ability to enter, persist in, and graduate from college. Innovative partnerships between Head Start and the higher education system is a promising strategy to bring together essential supports to meet the needs of student parents and set them up for long-term success. This briefing paper explores what this partnership might look like, and how federal and state policy could encourage greater support for student parents and their families through Head Start.

Strong Jobs Growth for Women in July, but a Troubling Recovery of Child Care Jobs

New July jobs data show that women’s jobs grew by 649,000, marking the largest jobs growth since August 2020. Yet women’s recovery continues to lag behind men’s: Women still need 3.1 million more jobs on payroll to get back to pre-COVID levels. And, child care centers are recovering much more slowly than the overall economy, signaling difficulties for women’s return to work.

“The Pandemic Was Not Going to Stop Me”: A Student Parent Reflects on Struggles, and Success, during COVID

This guest blog post is authored by Jessica Vera, a [...]

Shortchanged and Underpaid: Black Women and the Pay Gap

The COVID-19 pandemic and related recession has both highlighted the persistent inequalities that Black women face in the labor market and exacerbated them. Black women were overrepresented in many low-paying jobs that were recognized as “essential” during the pandemic, but had often been dismissed as “low-skilled” before. [...]

Even as Payroll Jobs Recover, Young Workers Face Unemployment and a Hostile Labor Market

New June jobs data show the strongest monthly job growth for women since August 2020. Despite this, it will still take women another 9.3 months to get back to pre-COVID-10 levels, compared with 6.7 months for men. Further, the unemployment rate increased slightly, with rates of unemployment remaining twice as high for younger workers.

Re-Engaging Student Parents to Achieve Attainment and Equity Goals

In recent years, the goal of 60 percent of adults holding a postsecondary degree has been set as a key benchmark for the United States to build a skilled workforce and remain economically competitive. Engaging adults with some college credit but no degree is critical to reaching this goal.

Before the “She-Cession”: A Pre-Pandemic Snapshot Shows More Women in the Workforce than Ever

The “she-cession” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has created economic instability for women across the United States. Yet, before the COVID-19 pandemic, women’s employment and earnings were improving nationwide. It is important to track trends in women’s employment and earnings prior to the pandemic [...]

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