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Women spend twice as much time caregiving as men, according to a survey

WASHINGTON – The National Partnership for Women & Families released a new analysis that demonstrates how wide the caregiving gap is between men and women across the United States. Through analysis of the recently released 2022 American Time Use Survey, the National Partnership found that men report doing only half as much caregiving of children, other family members and people outside of their home, as women – meaning that women spend an additional 153 hours providing unpaid care each year, or four full work weeks.

Unfortunately, this caregiving gap is clear across Asian women, Black women, white women and Latinas, compared to men overall. Latinas spend the most time caregiving across all groups.

“It’s clear that care work is valuable labor, but we rarely treat it as such,” Jocelyn Frye, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, said. “The additional unpaid caregiving that women perform, combined with longstanding gender-based pay disparities, mean that too many women are unable to achieve economic stability at a time when mothers are increasingly breadwinners, especially Black and Latina moms. We must focus on equity in our economy and make critical investments in paid leave, child care and other services to support all families and ensure the paid caregivers who are doing these jobs – disproportionately women of color – are fairly paid and have access to essential benefits.”

The caregiving work disproportionately performed by women historically has been undervalued, often viewed as women's responsibility or duty rather than valuable labor. Care workers who provide care for pay are often among the lowest paid workers, despite the important service that they provide to families in times of need.

Yet, even when calculated using the too-low average wages earned by child care workers and home health workers as a measure, the value of women’s additional time spent on caregiving is more than $625 billion per year. That amounts to roughly $4,600 of uncompensated caregiving per woman every year. The value of men’s unpaid caregiving time is roughly half that – $2,300 annually per person, more than $300 billion annually as a whole.

“Women in the prime of their careers are more likely to be working than ever, but they are also juggling significant caregiving responsibilities at home,” Katherine Gallagher Robbins, Senior Fellow at the National Partnership for Women & Families, said. “Ensuring workers’ caregiving responsibilities are supported helps not only individual families, but also grows our economy overall.”

Specifically, the new analysis found that men average just over 26 minutes a day on caregiving, while women average just under 52 minutes. Women spend an average of 153 additional hours caregiving per year, equivalent to four full work weeks. The value of unpaid care work is more than $625 billion for women and more than $300 billion for men annually.

Women are more likely to be caregivers than men: more than a quarter of women reported caring for household members, only one in six men reported the same. Asian women, white women, Black women and Latinas all spend more time providing care than men overall, with Latinas spending the most time caregiving across all groups.

The caregiving gap is critical evidence that investments in paid leave, child care and home- and community-based services are urgent. The National Partnership for Women & Families supports the FAMILY Act and the Healthy Families Act – legislation to create a national inclusive paid family and medical leave and paid sick leave policies – as well as legislation to ensure high-quality, affordable child care, and bolster support for disabled and LGBTQI+ people and families.

Submitted by National Partnership for Women & Families.


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