Investments in healthcare delivery will keep the United States competitive
Family care remains the main obstacle to finding a job for women and weighs on the recovery of the labor market, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told CNBC on Thursday.
“We still have millions of women who are not in the workforce and we know that the main reason they say they are not in the workforce is because they still have a hard time caring for their children or their elderly relatives, ”she said. “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer said.
The challenge in turn affects hiring at many companies across the country. Many women juggling babysitting requests miss out on job opportunities or even promotions due to existing responsibilities at home, said Raimondo, whose department is responsible for promoting U.S. economic growth.
More than a year after the coronavirus pandemic shook the economy and led to mass layoffs, recent Census Bureau data shows 1.5 million women have yet to re-enter the workforce due to constraints related to childcare. Addressing this is essential to ensure America remains competitive, said Raimondo.
“We need to invest more in our care delivery infrastructure so that women can fully participate in the labor market if we are truly to be competitive,” she argued.
The Biden administration also wants to do more to provide home care services, paid family leave and a public pre-K, said Raimondo, who was previously governor of Rhode Island.
“It’s as important to our competitiveness as anything else,” she said.
The comments come days after Senate Democrats unveiled a $ 3.5 trillion spending plan that includes funding to expand kindergarten and make child care more affordable, among a menu of questions.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the multibillion-dollar proposal would come to the House alongside a bipartisan $ 579 billion package to cover infrastructure priorities.
Senate Democrats hope to pass the $ 3.5 trillion economic safety net plan along a party line through a process called reconciliation.
Moderate Democrats, key to its survival, say they are reviewing the package. Members of the party’s left have said the spending plan is needed to support the infrastructure plan which has the backing of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
Republican members, who are expected to reject the $ 3.5 trillion proposal, fear the massive spending will drive inflation up.