Speakers highlight childcare at workforce shortage hearing

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ALBANY, NY (WENY) – At a committee hearing Tuesday addressing workforce shortages, speakers said there are a variety of areas lawmakers need to improve, including addressing childcare shortages, workforce development, and unemployment insurance debt.

But they said one of the biggest issues impacting the workforce is childcare shortages.

Following the pandemic, industries continue to struggle to find workers. According to a recent report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Education Trust, the pandemic forced many childcare providers to close or scale down and many still haven’t recovered.

“Childcare continues to be a big issue that was another cause of these workforce gaps,” said Paul Zuber, Executive Vice President of The Business Council of New York State.

According to the most recent U.S. Bureau Census Household survey, 350,000 New Yorkers reported the reason they were not working was because they were caring for children not in school or in childcare.

Speakers said there are solutions lawmakers could implement.

“Increasing the minimum wage and raising compensation will help address the childcare shortage,” said James Parrott, Director of the Economic and Fiscal Policies Center at the New School.

Parrott added raising the minimum wage will also help shortages in other areas like home health care and it will increase labor force participation. Moving forward, lawmakers from the Assembly Committee of Labor said they are committed to doing more work to help address these issues.


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