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Nobody is crying a river for an investment banker's stay-at-home wife

"Nobody is crying a river for an investment banker's stay-at-home wife. But I often think, if it’s this hard for us, how the hell are other people swinging it?” That's a quote from Jennifer Parks in the article from Fortune, Childcare is so expensive that educated women are dropping out of the workforce because they refuse to put more than 25% of their paycheck toward the cost.

Part of what we do at Applegate Talent Strategies is advocate and educate about issues that impact workforce and talent. The lack of available and affordable childcare is one such issue. It's one of the reasons why it's so hard to find and keep workers.

We often point out the obvious -- for work to make sense, it has to make economic sense.

To wit: the rising cost and limited availability of childcare is a significant challenge for working parents. The burden of this is disproportionately shouldered by women. When it's too expensive to work, people won't do it. This is why, as of January 2023, there were 217,000 fewer women in the labor force than in February 2020.

Two hundred and seventeen thousand fewer women in the labor force. For my fellow alumni of The Ohio State University, that's more than enough to fill two Ohio Stadiums.

Some people ask, "So what? What's the big deal if that investment banker's wife has to be a stay-at-home mom?"

It's a very big deal. For the people who exit the workforce (most of whom are NOT married to rich investment bankers) and for the rest of us.

"When parents step out of the workforce to care for children, it has broader, negative effects on the overall U.S. economy. Recent research finds that the childcare crisis costs the U.S. economy $122 billion a year in the form of lost earnings, productivity, and revenue. When a parent, typically a mother, passes on a promotion, drops down to part-time or leaves the workforce, it has a cumulative effect on their personal financial security, their family, the workforce and even the overall GDP."

We are highlighting this point because it is so important:

It has a cumulative effect on the personal financial security of themselves and their families, the workforce, and the overall economy, when parents choose to or are forced to:

• pass on a promotion

• drop down to part-time

• leave the workforce altogether

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