Workers Struggle With Child Care

Here’s another storm brewing that will add to the shortage of skilled workers. (Remember, the Perfect Labor Storm isn’t about a shortage of workers but a shortage of skilled and qualified workers.)

In a column posted on the challenge that workers are finding child care is increasing….and troubling.  The story attributes the shortage to three things — lack of staffing, an influx of families moving into the area and more births.   The lack of staffing (or at least finding qualified and dependable workers) is universal.  To attract a higher quality worker, child care centers are increasing wages. This only increases the fees families must pay for the care.  For many families including single parents, the costs are outstripping their wages.  This is not good for businesses.  Child care is likely to become a high demand benefit now that Gen Y – the largest generation ever – is entering the workforce. Many of these young people are minorities, reportedly as high as 70 percent.  Minorities, especially the Hispanic and Latino population, have higher birth rates than the Caucasians and African-Americans. Minorities have tended to have lower wages too making it more difficult for the skilled but lower paid employee to afford to work if they have children.

One factor not mentioned in the article was that for the Baby Boomer’s children, grandparents and relatives were often the child’s care during the workdays. That was at a time when families were geographically close…and older workers retired.  Today, we’re seeing families dispersed so parents are not always close by.  And many of the boomers are still working or traveling.  That leaves parents with children holding the …diapers?…when it comes to finding child care.

Just another story in The Perfect Labor Storm.


Ira S Wolfe