- Bank of America estimates unpaid care-economy work amounts to 9% of global GDP at just a minimum wage.
- The bank projects the space will add 269 million new jobs by 2030.
- Women make up 72.6% of unpaid care work, which is an average of 3.2 times more than men.
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President Joe Biden’s $4 trillion infrastructure plan placed an emphasis on care-economy measures, like universal pre-K and free community college. But at the crux of those measures are care-economy workers, and they’re doing an estimated $11 trillion worth of work per year, at least.
That estimate comes from Bank of America’s global research team, which released a Wednesday report that found 16.4 billion hours are spent across both genders in unpaid care work every day. At minimum wage levels, that work would amount to 9% of global gross domestic product, or $11 trillion per year. The report said care workers are employed in sectors like health and education, and 381 million currently make up the global workforce, which is equivalent to 11.5% of total global employment.
Investing in social care in 45 key countries could help achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals of 475 million jobs by 2030, the report said, equivalent to 269 million new jobs.
BofA Research: Unpaid care work would amount to 9% of global GDP.
Women also make up a significant portion of care work. BofA said 249 million women are care workers, compared to 132 million men, with women performing 76.2% of unpaid care work of the total hours provided — an average of 3.2 times more than men.
“Ageing societies and increasing female workforce participation mean action is needed on the organization of care work by governments, employers, trade unions and individual citizens,” the report said.
Insider reported last week that the April jobs report, which fell significantly short of expectations, revealed that women are still struggling, with 165,000 women dropping out of the labor force between March and April.
That’s why organizations and lawmakers have been working for months to get Congress to prioritize care-economy measures. In April, 55 progressive groups urged Biden to go big on “family-friendly care infrastructure that works for the millions of people who need care and support, those who have had to leave the workforce to become unpaid caregivers, and for the paid caregivers who have been historically undervalued.”
Biden’s $1.8 trillion infrastructure plan included funding for child care and paid and family leave, among other things, which lawmakers and experts said is vital to ensuring recovery for care workers and women.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren told Insider: “The Biden administration made a major commitment to childcare in the American Families Plan that’s going to change the lives of millions of women — especially Black and Brown women — who have been hit the hardest by this pandemic.”
Originally Appeared On: https://www.businessinsider.com/care-economy-unpaid-work-minimum-wage-jobs-labor-infrastructure-bofa-2021-5