Charts That Count: how to get more women in the workforce

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So we’re looking at prime age employment-to-population ratio for women primates just means that they’re of working age takes care of education decisions takes care of retirement decisions employment to population ratio means this is people among that age group who are either looking for work or have work right so this this takes care of the problem that you have

With a standard unemployment measure or you’re only looking at people who will happen to be looking for work right now so we’re looking at this measure for three countries over time up here we have sweden it’s not really fair they’re incredibly enlightened in terms of their family leave policies they’ve had them since 1900 they’ve had maternal and paternal leave

Since 1974 but we have to have them up there because they are the gold standard for this measure then you have the united states we’re going to come back to the u.s. in a second and then down here at the very beginning you have canada as you can see these measures change over time why is it important to take a look at this first of all fairness matters that is

A worthy policy goal okay but also overall particularly in the united states the share of workers in prime age overall has been falling men have been leaving the workforce for a couple of different reasons but women have not been replacing them at the same rate that they used to this is a problem for the united states beyond basic fairness because if you have

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More workers then your potential gdp is higher it’s not just about fairness it’s also about growth what affects this measure some of it is just cultural in some countries it is considered more important for women to stay at home with the children very difficult to change culture with policy it is also cyclical right here at the height of the euro crisis and at

The tail end of the financial crisis we see that this measure dropped for all three countries it dropped more precipitously for the united states but it dropped everywhere when there are fewer jobs to be had people make different about whether they want to be in the workforce or not but it also can be affected by policy right policy matters and i’ll show you

Why in 2000 the united states was seventh in this measure prime ag pop for women by 2017 the united states was 22nd so something happened let’s take canada as an example in 2001 they changed their family leave policy so it used to be that women could get ten weeks off after having a child after 2001 that was extended to 35 weeks and it applied to women and men

You can see the difference right here so there are a couple of other policy measures that will make a difference in primate pop for women so leave policies make a difference also about a third of the countries in the oecd offer the right to negotiate for part-time work if you can work part-time when you have young children it makes the decision to stay in the

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Workforce a lot easier also the united states spends about a quarter of the oecd average on support for childcare obviously this is incredibly important as well if the feds are helping you take care of your kids during the day it definitely changes the decision on childcare so this measure working age women in the workforce is cultural it is cyclical but it is

Also fixable disclosure i have four kids and i have a wife who works and has much nicer hair than what i’ve drawn here so i’m invested in this policy outcome

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Charts That Count: how to get more women in the workforce By Financial Times

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