Virginia data highlights economic impact of lack of paid leave

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New state data released by the National Partnership for Women & Families highlights the severe economic impact of the lack of paid leave available to workers.

On the eve of the 29th anniversary of the Family Medical Leave Act, the research explains what “Paid Leave Means” in each of the 50 states. The resources explain the devastating costs that workers, families and state economies experience without a national paid family and medical leave policy.

“Paid family and medical leave, along with other family support policies, are tools that are critical to enabling women to retain their jobs over the long term,” said Jocelyn Frye, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families. “People’s ability to work, their health and their finances are all at stake — and at risk — without a national policy.”

Below are some of the findings:

  • In Arizona, up to one in fourpeople are suffering from long-haul COVID. An Arizona worker who takes four weeks of unpaid leave loses nearly $3,100 in income.
  • In Delaware, where paid leave legislation is currently being considered, 54percent of people can’t even access unpaid leave under the FMLA.
  • Women are the breadwinners in Florida: 77 percent of Black mothers, 52 percent of Latina mothers, 49 percent of white mothers, and 44 percent of AAPI mothers are breadwinners.
  • In Maryland, more than one quarter of workers are overthe age of 55, and are more likely to experience chronic or other health conditions and need medical leave to stay in the workforce.
  • Nearly 100,000 people in Nevadawere out of work last month because they were sick with or caring for someone with COVID-19.
  • In New Hampshire, women make up nearly half of the state’s labor force and more than onequarter of its business owners.
  • If women in West Virginia had the same rate of labor force participation as women in countries with paid leave, the state would see $1.1 billion more wages earned statewide.
  • In Virginia, over 94,000 babies are born each year. There are nearly 1.3 million Virginia households with children in which all parents work for a living – 74 percent of all households with children.

“Tens of millions of working people in this country don’t have access to family and medical leave, paid or unpaid, and they are suffering because of it,” said Jessica Mason, senior policy analyst at the National Partnership for Women & Families. “But what lawmakers need to know is that if nothing changes, our public health and our economy will continue to suffer.”

The series of fact sheets cover each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and is the latest in an annual update from the National Partnership for Women & Families.


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