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New Study Reveals Impact Inadequate Childcare Options have on Pennsylvania’s Workforce & Economy


From PA Chamber of Business & Industry
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation today released a report examining the impact of childcare issues on Pennsylvania’s state economy. The report is part of a broader “Untapped Potential” study of four U.S. states – Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania – that reveals the cost of childcare challenges in each state and provides opportunities to unlock economic potential for states and employers.

The study found that Pennsylvania loses an estimated $3.47 billion annually for the state’s economy. This number includes an estimated $591 million annual loss in tax revenue as well as an estimated annual loss to Pennsylvania employers of $2.88 billion on absences and employee turnover as a result of childcare breakdowns.

“The lack of affordable, quality childcare is a critical component of the workforce issues plaguing Pennsylvania and states across the country,” said Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr. “This issue has acted as a barrier for many people to enter the workforce – leaving an entire segment of the population that is ready and able to work, out of career paths that pay family-sustaining incomes. As part of the Pennsylvania Chamber’s workforce initiative, Start the Conversation Here, we are pleased to partner with the U.S. Chamber Foundation and elected officials across the Commonwealth and nation on solutions to address this workforce challenge.”

Key study findings include:

  • Childcare issues result in an estimated $3.47 billion loss annually for Pennsylvania’s economy.
  • Pennsylvania loses an estimated $591 million annually in tax revenue due to childcare issues.
  • Absences and employee turnover cost Pennsylvania employers an estimated $2.88 billion per year.
  • At least 55 percent of parents in Pennsylvania reported missing work due to childcare issues in the past 3 months.
  • Approximately four in 10 parents in Pennsylvania postponed school or a training program due to childcare issues.

“Each state’s challenges are unique – as are their childcare systems, and the diversity of their employers – so the solutions that tackle these challenges must be unique as well,” said Cheryl Oldham, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Center for Education and Workforce. “To solve this complex issue, it will take a collaboration of partners, including federal and state investment, support from the business community, philanthropic organizations, and expertise from early education advocates and providers.”

The series of reports was unveiled at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s national Early Ed Summit at the Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., where workforce leaders and early education advocates discussed the economic impact of childcare breakdowns, unique challenges faced by each state, and the role of business in solving this childcare crisis.

The full reports, videos, report methodology, and other resources can be found on the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s website.

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