How much have childcare challenges slowed the US jobs market recovery?
In this analysis, we quantify the effect of childcare challenges on the labor market by examining how much of the overall decline in employment can be explained by excess job loss among parents, and mothers specifically. We do this by constructing counterfactual employment rates, or employment-to-population ratios, as well as labor force participation rates that assign to parents with young children the percent change in employment and labor force participation rates experienced by comparable people without young children. The results of this exercise imply that differential job loss among parents, or even mothers specifically, accounts for a negligible share of aggregate job loss and could even have led to a small increase in jobs between the first quarters of 2020 and 2021. (author abstract)