Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Women Are Winning in the Trump Economy Tax Benefits for Child Care and Small Businesses Are Helping Women to Keep and Create Jobs

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Women Are Winning in the Trump Economy Tax Benefits for Child Care and Small Businesses Are Helping Women to Keep and Create Jobs

Article excerpt

By almost every economic measure, women are flourishing in today's economy. Female unemployment is at a 50-year low of 3.9 percent, less than half the rate it was early in President Barack Obama's second term. This summer, the female unemployment rate reached its lowest level in 65 years. When you consider how small the female labor force was back then, it's safe to say it's never been easier for a woman to find a job than it is today.

Women are also leaving the labor market sidelines to return to the workforce in droves. Prime-age female employment has increased by 1 million since November 2016. This year, the prime-age female employment rate finally returned to its pre-Great Recession level.

While male wages have stagnated in recent decades (with the exception of the past couple of years), women's have increased markedly. Women are 15 percent more likely than men to have a college degree, and that spread increases among recent graduates.

The number of women-owned businesses has grown by 114 percent over the past 20 years compared to just 44 percent overall. There are an estimated 11.6 million women-owned businesses, about 40 percent of the total businesses in the country.

Yet entrepreneurship has historically been an area where women have lagged. According to a report by the Kauffman Foundation, women are half as likely as men to start a business. This artificially depresses economic vibrancy. At the same time, the report argues that women may actually be better entrepreneurs because they are more prudent risk- takers, knowing when to take advantage of opportunities but avoiding "foolhardy risks" that often trip up their male counterparts.

Kauffman points to a major hurdle to greater female entrepreneurship: child care. It suggests that child-care burdens swamp female entrepreneurship opportunities in a way that they do not for men. It argues that if public policy could help overcome such challenges, women would "unleash a wealth of ingenuity and creativity that can spark a new era of entrepreneur-led growth in America. …

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