New Heldrich brief: Wages and Wealth in the Context of COVID-19: The Economic Effects on Households with Children

March 25, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically affected households across New Jersey, with the unemployment rate rising to 16.6%. As is true in any economic downturn, the effects of these trends are felt more by some groups than others — whether across geographic regions, race, gender, age, or other characteristics and experiences. The Economic Effects on Households with Children, by Meghna Hari and Stephanie Holcomb, is the second brief in a new Heldrich Center research series titled Wages and Wealth in the Context of COVID-19. The brief explores the impact of the pandemic on New Jersey workers and households by different demographics. 

The analysis used data on trends in the hours caregivers spend on child-related activities each day compared with recent data on those who have exited the labor force due to childcare responsibilities. Key findings from this research include:

  • Until 2019, women in New Jersey had engaged increasingly in the labor force, steadily narrowing the male-female labor force participation gap. Even more significantly, women with children under age six matched the participation level of women overall in 2019.
  • Prior to the pandemic, caregiving for parents varied by gender and age of children across all U.S. households. Caregivers with children under age five spent more time on children-related activities than those with children age five or older. Female caregivers spent more time on children-related activities than male caregivers.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, caring for household children was a key factor in not working for New Jersey parents. A higher share of female caregivers who did not work indicated the main reason for this was caring for children in the absence of available daycare/school options as compared to male caregivers who did not work. 

Recent Posts

NJSPL – New Jersey Employment Concerns Revisited

As 2024 began with yet another surprisingly strong jobs report for the U.S. (353,000 jobs added in January and the unemployment rate steady at 3.7%), and with a full year’s worth of 2023 state-level employment data now available, it’s worth briefly revisiting some of...

New Research: The Traffic Calming Effect of Delineated Bicycle Lanes

Abstract We analyze the effect of a bicycle lane on traffic speeds. Computer vision techniques are used to detect and classify the speed and trajectory of over 9,000 motor-vehicles at an intersection that was part of a pilot demonstration in which a bicycle lane was...

Upcoming Events

Event Series CAREERS

Career Virtual Drop-ins

Virtual

Bloustein Career Development Specialists Cheryl Egan and Andrea Garrido will be in a Zoom Room on Monday's beginning January 22, 2024 (excluding holidays and spring break) to answer questions, provide […]