By Lydia DePillis, Jeanna Smialek and
Those forced to cut back on work could face lasting disadvantages. They are missing out on an unusual moment of worker power, in which many employees are bargaining for higher wages or switching to more lucrative jobs. Right now, the fields where women are most concentrated — including service sector jobs in hospitality and health care — have some of the most openings and the most rapid pay growth.
“I think it will be really interesting to see what the long-term consequences are on mothers’ career opportunities,” said Ariane Hegewisch, the program director in employment and earnings at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. “Women have continued to work, but they clearly had to cut back.”
America’s long-running caregiving shortage, for both children and older adults, was compounded by the pandemic.