The Institute for Women’s Policy Research today hailed President Biden’s signing of the $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, calling it a boon for America’s working families and the social safety net. The law is projected to add more than two million jobs per year over the coming decade and devote billions to repairing our nation’s highways, bridges, and ports. Importantly, the bill will also invest in public transportation, implement new clean water programs for families and children, and expand broadband access for rural communities, all programs that positively impact some of our nation’s most vulnerable communities.
“President Biden’s infrastructure bill represents an historic investment in our economy that will have a tremendous impact on America’s women and their families,” said C. Nicole Mason, President and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. “It will provide millions of jobs, boost our economy, and help to rebuild our social safety net post-pandemic. Coupled with the Build Back Better bill, this investment in infrastructure will help to lift up some of our country’s most vulnerable communities and make a difference in the lives of millions of Americans.”
November’s jobs report reiterated how women are struggling post-pandemic compared to men. The report showed a return to growth, with women gaining 304,000 jobs, the majority 57.3 %, of 531,000 jobs added to payroll. But the data also show an increase in the rate of unemployment for adult women from 4.2 to 4.4 percent, while men’s unemployment fell from 4.7 to 4.3%. And women continue to lag behind men when compared to employment levels pre-pandemic, especially in the child care and elder care industries, which are disproportionately staffed by women.
“We have come a long way since the height of the pandemic, but we still have far to go, especially for America’s women,” said Mason. “Investments like the bipartisan infrastructure bill will help women and their families as they emerge from the pandemic and return to the workforce. And it will provide a needed boost to the many Americans still struggling from the economic impact of COVID. We still need Congress to enact the Build Back Better bill, with its key investments in child care and early childhood education, but today’s bipartisan down payment on America’s future is truly a time for celebration.”
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