The U.S. growth rate has been approximately 2.5% through the financial recovery, but Washington should pay attention to a policy that helps women at work if it wants to see further growth.
S&P Global created a report which says that promoting the entrance of more women into the workforce, especially in the STEM field, might generate a significant growth opportunity, with a potential to attach from 4% to 10% to nominal GDP in just several decades.
Some financial experts at S&P Global compared different countries and the U.S. They found that the U.S. economy would be much larger today if the country hired and retained women in the same line as Scandinavian countries, and they took Norway as an example for this analysis.
“The U.S. and Norway had almost the same rate of women participating at work in the early 1970s. Norway won. The United States lazily followed, but barely,” Beth Ann Bovino S&P Global chief economist said Finance Yahoo. “And we found that the U.S. economy would be significantly bigger if women participated at the rate of Norway for example. Furthermore, the gain would be $1.6 billion in cash, which is five thousand of dollars in each woman, man, and child’s pocket today,” he added.
Janet Yellen ex-Fed chair indicated last year that labor force participation rates of main laboring-age women were near the top for 22 developed countries in 1990. By then, a higher number of women were becoming lawyers, managers, professors, doctors, and other highly educated professions. However, a percentage of women going into traditional fields of nursing, teaching, clerical and social work significantly declined. Women increased their education and entered into occupations and industries once dominated by men. The gap in salaries between men and women started to close notably.
“Unfortunately, the U.S. economy has stagnated since then, and other countries have outperformed it. The United States was near to the last place in 2016, compared to 22 advanced countries,” the S&P Global analysis noted.
The S&P financial experts also observed barriers that the majority of women face at some point, and childcare is the main one.
“Childcare and rearing is the biggest roadblock for those women who want to work, and it is a serious question, how can we help them with that?” said Beth Bovino.
Almost 40% of mothers take big time off after having children, and more than 24% of women abandon the workforce,” the analysis noted. “That is why we should have flexible work schedules,” Beth Bovino finished.