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Household Differentials in Paid Work Resilience under Covid-19 Pandemic

Sat, August 6, 8:00 to 9:30am, LACC, Floor: Level 2, 309


Marked by widespread closings of childcare facilities and schools, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed families to rely on internal caregiving, increasing time conflicts for working parents. This study investigates the contribution of household living arrangements to understanding outcomes related to work-family conflicts during the pandemic. We employ data from the US Census Household Pulse Survey to compare single parent with coupled parent households with children under the age of 18 on job loss, as well as other labor market outcomes, and explore factors of variations among single-parent households. Specifically, we investigate the numbers of within-household resident adults and the gender of single parents as powerful predictors of household resilience against career interruption during the pandemic. Our findings highlight the higher resiliency of coupled parents, confirming previous work. Among single-parent households, family composition, specifically the supply of coresident adults, plays a key role in the households’ adaptability to the pandemic, with stronger resilience of single father households over mothers’. These preliminary results justify future research on sources of household stresses and resilience to external shocks while calling for a policy agenda to enhance universal access to childcare and in-person schooling with sufficient health protections.