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School reopenings should boost employment: UBS

In a recent blog post, Brian Rose, senior Americas economist at UBS Financial Services, noted that school reopenings should boost employment, particularly for women. "It is difficult to say exactly how many people are not working because schools are closed, but the number appears substantial," Rose said. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the population aged 44 and below, employment has dropped more for women than for men.

"That fits with anecdotal anecdotal evidence that it is mostly women who are staying home to care for children while schools are closed," said Rose.

“It does seem that a year into the pandemic it’s the younger women who have seen bigger job losses. There’s a lot of anecdotes suggesting that it’s not a coincidence that if someone’s going to stay home to watch kids it’s likely to be the mother, and that if we can reopen the schools, then it’ll open up a chance for women to go back to work.”

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, UBS as of 22 Feb 2021
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, UBS as of 22 Feb 2021

A big key component of the school reopening debate centered around whether or not teachers can get vaccinated before reentering the classroom. However, Rose tells Yahoo Finance that teachers of younger students are less at risk compared to students of older children such as those in middle and high schools.

Rose did, however, note to Yahoo Finance that it is hard to state anything with certainty amid the pandemic, but he believes that school is reopenings will particularly be helpful to the younger women in the workforce.

“More broadly speaking, once the most vulnerable part of the population is largely vaccinated, which should be only a few weeks away, we expect to see strong job growth. Getting all the way back to business as usual will require enough vaccinations to achieve herd immunity, but a lot of the social distancing restrictions that are weighing on the economy should be lifted sooner as COVID hospitalizations and deaths decline.”

Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.

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