Caregiving Economics

26 thoughts on “Caregiving Economics

  1. “… roughly 36% of the working-age population is engaged in providing unpaid care on any given day, according to the annual American Time Use Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (ATUS).”

    “Overall, if Americans were paid $15 per hour for their unpaid caregiving labor, then the total value of the time spent on unpaid care would be $980 billion per year.”

    “… caregivers are forced to either (1) accept low paying and inflexible parttime jobs; (2) take conventional full-time jobs, with all the stress of combining work and unpaid care responsibilities; or (3) drop out of the paid workforce completely.“

    https://www.progressivepolicy.org/publication/platform-work-and-the-care-economy/

  2. “… what often goes unaddressed is the emotional burden of this necessary role – how some people have had to abandon careers and schooling to provide care for their loved ones, while others depart the industry entirely because of low wages and long hours.”

    “Comprising both paid and unpaid services, the care economy represents a sector of those who are responsible for providing care services to populations unable to independently support themselves, totalling roughly a quarter of the US gross domestic product (GDP) as of 2022.”

    https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2023/01/care-economy-us-major-economic-crisis-us-davos-2023/

  3. “Of the estimated 48 million people caring for adults, about 41.8 million provide unpaid care …”

    “While the work of unpaid caregivers is deeply undervalued, paid home care workers struggle too. Roughly 2 million people make up the home care workforce, which is 86% women, 60% people of color, and 14% immigrants. According to the National Domestic Workers Alliance, nearly 20% of these workers live in poverty, with an average hourly wage of $12.12 and annual earnings of $17,200.”

    https://economichardship.org/2022/07/the-underground-economy-of-unpaid-care/

  4. “Fourteen percent of the civilian noninstitutional population age 15 and over, or 37.1 million people, provided
    unpaid eldercare, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. A little over one-fourth (28 percent)
    of eldercare providers engaged in unpaid eldercare on a given day, spending an average of 3.6 hours providing
    this care. These estimates are averages for the 2-year period of 2021-22.

    Eldercare providers are defined as individuals who provide unpaid care to someone age 65 or older who needs
    help because of a condition related to aging. This care can be provided to household or nonhousehold members,
    as well as persons living in retirement homes or assisted care facilities. Eldercare can involve a range of
    care activities, such as assisting with grooming, preparing meals, and providing transportation. Eldercare
    also can involve providing companionship or being available to assist when help is needed, and thus it can
    be associated with nearly any activity.

    Information about eldercare providers and the time they spend providing care are collected as part of the
    American Time Use Survey (ATUS). The ATUS is a continuous household survey that provides estimates on how
    people spend their time. For a description of ATUS data, concepts, and methodology, see the Technical Note.“

    https://www.bls.gov/news.release/elcare.nr0.htm

  5. “WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Labor and elected federal officials held a media briefing today to discuss the release of a report by the department’s Women’s Bureau on how caring for family has long-term impacts on a mother’s lifetime earnings.”

    “Women’s Bureau Director Wendy Chun-Hoon and U.S. Representatives Gwen Moore, Susan Wild and Shontel Brown shared findings from the “Lifetime Employment-Related Costs to Women of Providing Family Care” report. Women’s Bureau Senior Advisor Sarah Jane Glynn also took part in the briefing.“

    “The report finds the amount of time women spend providing essential care to children and adults has a substantial personal economic cost that continues long after the caregiving ends. The estimated employment-related costs for mothers providing unpaid care averages $295,000 over a lifetime, based on the 2021 U.S. dollar value, adjusted for inflation. Unpaid family caregiving reduces a mother’s lifetime earnings by 15 percent, which also creates a reduction in retirement income.“

    https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/wb/wb20230511

  6. “WASHINGTON — The unpaid work provided by family caregivers is valued at an estimated $600 billion, according to the latest report in AARP’s Valuing the Invaluable series. This is a $130 billion increase in unpaid contributions from family caregivers since the last report was released in 2019. The economic impact of $600 billion is more than all out-of-pocket spending on health care in the U.S. in 2021.”

    https://press.aarp.org/2023-03-08-New-Report-Highlights-Increasing-Cost-of-Family-Caregiving-in-the-US

  7. “Women spend an average 51.6 minutes a day caring for household children, other household members and nonhousehold members, according to a new analysis from the National Partnership for Women and Families. Men spend an average 26.4 minutes daily on such tasks.”

    “‘We talk about the wage gap all the time, but this ‘time gap’ is also a huge impact on people’s lives,’ said Katherine Gallagher Robbins, senior fellow at the National Partnership for Women and Families.”

    https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/13/how-much-the-time-gap-in-unpaid-caregiving-costs-women.html

  8. “We used the cross-sectional 2013 RAND Survey of Military and Veteran Caregivers, a survey of 3876 caregivers and non-caregivers aged 18 years and older to conduct multivariable analyses and calculate average marginal effects, focusing on the association between intensive caregiving (i.e., providing ≥ 20 h of weekly care) and six economic outcomes: schooling, labor force participation, taking unpaid time off of work, cutting back work hours, quitting a job, and early retirement.“

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40273-019-00784-7

  9. “More than just avoiding plastic, we need to evaluate our behavior and move away from unnecessary consumption and living a throwaway lifestyle. ‘If we’re really honest, any solution will require us to analyze our own consumption to try to understand what we’re consuming and why, and whether there are ways to reduce our individual consumption,’ Miller says. She acknowledges that’s a tall order for a lot of people. It’s much easier to say “I can consume anything I want. I’ll just recycle it.”

    “Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the October 2021 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.“

    https://www.consumerreports.org/environment-sustainability/the-big-problem-with-plastic/

  10. “The present study seeks to determine the environmental pollution and health effects associated with waste landfilling by adopting a desk review design. It is revealed that landfilling is associated with various environmental pollution problems, namely, (a) underground water pollution due to the leaching of organic, inorganic, and various other substances of concern (SoC) contained in the waste, (b) air pollution due to suspension of particles, (c) odor pollution from the deposition of municipal solid waste (MSW), and (d) even marine pollution from any potential run-offs. Furthermore, health impacts may occur through the pollution of the underground water and the emissions of gases, leading to carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic effects of the exposed population living in their vicinity.”

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9399006/

  11. “EPA developed the non-hazardous materials and waste management hierarchy in recognition that no single waste management approach is suitable for managing all materials and waste streams in all circumstances.”

    “The hierarchy ranks the various management strategies from most to least environmentally preferred. The hierarchy places emphasis on reducing, reusing, recycling and composting as key to sustainable materials management. These strategies reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.”

    https://www.epa.gov/smm/sustainable-materials-management-non-hazardous-materials-and-waste-management-hierarchy

  12. “We all know we should recycle, but even committed recyclers can be erratic, cleaning and sorting bottles one day, and tossing glass in the trash the next. Why? It turns out that an array of biases sway our decisions about what to place in the green bin and what to throw away.”

    “Two such biases emerged in research my colleagues and I recently conducted on disposal habits. First, we found that people are more likely to recycle items that haven’t been distorted—like undented soda cans and paper that hasn’t been torn into pieces (we call this the “distortion bias”). Second, they are more likely to recycle items linked to an element of their identity—a Starbucks cup with their name on it, for example (the “identity bias”). A third factor affects not what we recycle, but how much we do: People who know they are going to recycle after completing a task that generates waste use far more resources than they otherwise would have.“

    https://hbr.org/2016/10/the-behavioral-economics-of-recycling

  13. “It’s a lie that wasteful consumers cause the problem and that changing our individual habits can fix it.”

    “The real problem is that single-use plastic—the very idea of producing plastic items like grocery bags, which we use for an average of 12 minutes but can persist in the environment for half a millennium—is an incredibly reckless abuse of technology.”

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/observations/more-recycling-wont-solve-plastic-pollution/

  14. “… when plastic waste is mismanaged – not recycled, incinerated, or kept in sealed landfills – it becomes an environmental pollutant. One to two million tonnes of plastic enter our oceans yearly, affecting wildlife and ecosystems.

    Improving the management of plastic waste across the world – especially in poorer countries, where most of the ocean plastics come from – is therefore critical to tackling this problem.

    On this page, you can find all of our data, visualizations, and writing on plastic pollution.

    You can also find a summary of this material in our slide deck.“

    https://ourworldindata.org/plastic-pollution

  15. article

    “Given the global scale of plastic pollution, the cost of removing plastics from the environment would be prohibitive. Most solutions to the problem of plastic pollution, therefore, focus on preventing improper disposal or even on limiting the use of certain plastic items in the first place. Fines for littering have proved difficult to enforce, but various fees or outright bans on foamed food containers and plastic shopping bags are now common, as are deposits redeemed by taking beverage bottles to recycling centres. So-called extended producer responsibility, or EPR, schemes make the manufacturers of some items responsible for creating an infrastructure to take back and recycle the products that they produce. Awareness of the serious consequences of plastic pollution is increasing, and new solutions, including the increasing use of biodegradable plastics and a “zero waste” philosophy, are being embraced by governments and the public.“

    https://www.britannica.com/science/plastic-pollution

  16. Unemployment and GDP indicate that the increasing industry of unpaid caregiving can positively impact the economy with support from employers in the form of paid time off for caregiving. Meanwhile, the lack of support for unpaid caregivers has shown a consistent, growing, negative economic impact (Novello, 2021)

    Novello, A. (2021). Paid leave could keep more than 6 million caregivers connected to the labor force by 2030. https://www.nationalpartnership.org/our-work/resources/economic-justice/paid-leave–connected-2030.pdf

  17. Researchers have noted that increased caregivers’ emotional vitality can be considered a form of equipment for providing more effective care (Barbic, Mayo, White, Bartlett, 2014).

    Barbic, S., Mayo, N., White, C., Bartlett, S. (2014). Emotional vitality in family caregivers: content validation of a theoretical framework. Quality of Life Research, 23(10), 2865-2872. doi:10.1007/s11136-014-0718-4

  18. Researchers have identified specific costs experienced by caregivers to include extreme emotional distress, decreased health behavior and economic distress (Hoffman & Wallace, 2017).

    Hoffman, G. J., & Wallace, S. P. (2018). The cost of caring: Economic vulnerability, serious emotional distress, and poor health behaviors among paid and unpaid family and friend caregivers. Research on Aging, 40(8), 791-809. https://doi.org/10.1177/0164027517742430

  19. Unpaid caregiving leads to interruption in work availability in the form of absenteeism and job loss, costing the United States economy an estimated 44 billion dollars annually …(Bradley, Schulick, Yabroff, 2022) …

    Bradley, C., Schlick, R., Yabroff, K. (2022). Unpaid caregiving: What are the hidden costs? Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 19 August 2022. https://doi.org/10.1093/djac16

  20. United States …
    estimated 48 million people providing “informal,” unpaid caregiving … (Kasten, 2021)

    Kasten, J. (2021). Assessment of family caregivers’ needs: what employers need to know. American Journal of Health Promotion, 35(7), 1038-1041. doi:10.1177/0890117121130142e

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