CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 2.3 million women have lost their jobs since last February, along with nearly one million mothers who have left their jobs.
Melanie Piazza, a mother of two, said that she had to close her business to take care of her 4- and 8-year-old children. “When things break down, it’s moms who say ‘OK, I will breakdown. I will leave my job,'” said Piazza.
Economists estimate the loss of women in the workforce represents $64 billion a year in lost wages. Black, Hispanic and single mothers are experiencing job loss the worst according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Women are dropping out because when they lose jobs, women are inherently conflicted, we have not come a long way, baby, not far enough. Women earn less. So if one breadwinner in a family has to work, and there’s no one else to provide childcare, it falls back to the woman,” explained personal finance columnist Terry Savage.
The emotional toll of choosing between staying at home with family or financial impacts is affecting the entire family.
“When women control, or bring in, some of the household income, households are more likely to have increased expenditures on goods that benefit the child. Child welfare, child health, education, etc,” explained MSU Denver Professor of Economics Dr. Christina Huber. “I really think that the decrease in women’s labor force participation, particularly for working mothers, will leave a deep and lasting scar on our society and economy that will last for a generation.”
Many mothers are left balancing their work and childcare at the same time.
“We’ve created a new definition of Wonder Woman. It’s the working woman who is a mother who is working from home and supervising her kids, online learning courses, that’s impossible. And yet millions of women are doing it,” said Savage.