Time's Up, Measure Up

TIME’S UP Report: A Bold, Public Investment in Caregiving Amidst COVID-19 Crisis Will Create Jobs and Build Our Economy

Equity, Impact Lab, Time's Up, Measure Up


Today, TIME’S UP Foundation’s signature initiative Time’s Up, Measure Up released a new report showing that investing in a robust caregiving infrastructure will create millions of jobs across the economy. The results in this report reinforce the need for significant public investment to rebuild and strengthen our economy in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

Authors Dr. Rakeen Mabud, director of research and strategy at TIME’S UP Foundation, and Dr. Lenore M. Palladino, Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics and School of Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, found that an investment of $77.5 billion per year in care sectors would:

  • Support over 2 million new jobs at an average cost of $34,496 per supported job;
  • Create 22.5 million new jobs over 10 years;
  • Translate into $220 billion in new economic activity annually; and
  • Create or support over 81,000 jobs in food services and 45,000 in retail – industries predominantly made up of women of color and low-paid workers who lost over 500,000 jobs in December 2020.

“The pandemic has exacerbated the challenges faced for generations by American workers, as the U.S. is the only developed country without a sustainable national care infrastructure,” said Tina Tchen, president and CEO of TIME’S UP Foundation. “It is urgent now to make the bold public investments we need to build a true care economy, which will create millions of jobs and billions of dollars in economic growth.”

Public investment in care also would allow millions of family caregivers who have left the labor market, reduced their hours, or lost their jobs in 2020 to return to work, strengthening overall economic activity and ensuring that a generation of women’s labor market gains do not disappear. While these effects are not captured in the analysis, women returning to the labor force is a crucial factor in our economic health in the recovery period and beyond.

In addition to its economic value, investing in care is a top priority for voters across the political spectrum: 90% of registered voters agree that providing support and services for people with children and aging, ill, or disabled family members will provide economic stability for millions of people and eight in 10 voters say unsupported caregiving is a huge burden for families, according to a recent poll commissioned by TIME’S UP Foundation, Caring Across Generations, and Paid Leave for All Action. This includes 8 out of 10 Republican voters.

“Caregiving is a gender, economic, and racial justice issue,” said Lenore M. Palladino, Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “Front line care workers are disproportionately Black and Latinx women, who are putting their lives at risk. An investment in our care infrastructure is an investment in a strong economic future and a huge step toward gender and racial equity.”

The Biden-Harris campaign plan outlined a comprehensive proposal for investing $77.5 billion annually over 10 years in a care economy. This research represents an effort to assess the economic impact of a similarly-sized investment and reinforces the conclusion that this investment is a critical linchpin in creating new jobs and stimulating economic growth. Notably, President Joe Biden has unveiled the first phase of his economic relief plan. In his proposal, President Biden called for 14 weeks of emergency paid sick and family leave benefits for 106 million more workers and funding for child care.

“The pandemic has elevated the longstanding need for robust investments in the care sector,” said Rakeen Mabud, director of research and strategy at TIME’S UP Foundation. “Women have been pushed out of the labor market at devastating rates, in no small part due to the caregiving burdens they shoulder; burdens that have only grown over the course of this crisis. Building a sustainable care infrastructure is not just good for women – it is foundational for a healthy and inclusive economy.”

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TIME’S UP Foundation

The TIME’S UP™ Foundation insists upon safe, fair, and dignified work for all by changing culture, companies, and laws. We enable more people to seek justice through the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund™. We pioneer innovative research driving toward solutions to address systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace through the TIME’S UP Impact Lab. And we reshape key industries from within, so they serve as a model for all industries. The TIME’S UP Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Time’s Up, Measure Up

Time’s Up, Measure Up is a five-year initiative to study and report on the impact of gender and racial inequities that have only grown with the COVID-19 crisis. The initiative fills critical knowledge gaps, drawing on quantitative data, qualitative research, and personal stories to help us understand — and solve — these problems. We are keeping women front and center in policy conversations in the short term, as well as challenging the deeply embedded sexist and racist attitudes that have held women back in our economy and our society for far too long. This initiative was funded with the early and critical support of Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company created by Melinda Gates.