The astonishing cost of daycare in the age of the pandemic
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The Economic Policy Institute reports that in 33 states, caring for a one-year-old child costs more than tuition at state universities.
The cost of childcare in California is a staggering $16,945, or more than $1,400 per month. EPI says parents pay $8,530 a year in Georgia$13,802 in illinois, $12,567 in Wisconsin and $9,324 in Texas. This means that in Texas, “childcare would represent 15.7% of the median income of a Texas family”. In other words, the cost of child care in Texas is two-thirds the income of a minimum wage worker and half the income of a typical child care worker.
Journalists, we have a denominator problem. There, I said it. It had to be said.
We are used to reporting raw numbers without adding context. We give a numerator without a denominator. We share the âwhatâ without also sharing the âso whatâ.
The Guardian gives us an interesting visual lesson. This data is from New South Wales, Australia, but it could be anywhere, including your county. Imagine you see this data, which says that, during the winter, 97 vaccinated elderly people died or were hospitalized in the local intensive care unit, and 31 unvaccinated people were also.
Anti-vaccineers would use this data to say, âSee, vaccines don’t work. But in fact, more vaccinated people died or got really sick than those who weren’t vaccinated. That’s what happens when you don’t use denominators, the context that gives meaning to that data.
Now let’s add denominators. Yes, 97 deaths is a higher number, but that’s out of a universe of 2.7 million people.
If you’re a journalist who tends to shy away from math, you should dive headfirst into this column by epidemiologist Dr Katelyn Jetelina. It explains how to stop “numerator thinking” and adopt “denominator thinking”.
Here’s a taste of his thinking on how this shows up in your reports:
Numerator: Pediatric hospitalizations are increasing. And they are increasing rapidly. In the figure below, hospitalizations among children aged 0-17 have increased to figures never seen before, at a daily rate of 1.13 new admissions per 100,000 children.
Denominator: When we compare this to other age groups, the number of admissions for 0-17 year olds continues to be the lowest of any other age group. Each age group is currently increasing the number of hospital admissions.
For me, the lesson is that journalists must understand the facts well and also understand the facts well. Accuracy plus context = truth.
The spike in infections occurred precisely the week of the survey on which the jobs data is based â meaning millions of Americans were sick at home, quarantined or caring for others.
For people who are salaried employees or have received paid sick leave, this should not affect the numbers. But for people who worked no hours and weren’t paid during the reference week, it will appear as jobs that have evaporated.
The January figures are also complicated by seasonal workers who are sometimes laid off after the holiday shopping season but, due to labor shortages, may have continued working this year. Overall, the advice seems to be not to get too caught up in the numbers this month, but to look for longer-term trends.
If the national labor shortage has given working people more clout, it’s hard to understand why it’s so difficult for part-time workers to land full-time jobs with benefits and a higher salary. The New York Times found that while employers are advocating for workers and trying to retain current employees, employers are used to business models that involve part-time workers, and they are not changing quickly:
Government data shows that in retail, the proportion of part-time workers last year was about where it was just before the pandemic, and has increased somewhat in hospitality industries such as restaurants and hotels.
In one half-yearly survey by Daniel Schneider, a Harvard sociologist, and Kristen Harknett, a sociologist at the University of California, San Francisco, a quarter of workers at large retailers and restaurant chains said they worked 35 hours a week or less and wanted more of hours. This figure was down from around a third in 2019, but the change was due to a drop in workers wanting more hours, likely due to pandemic health risks and work-life conflict. personal life, not because employers provided more hours.
Even though employers complain about having to scramble to fill vacancies, there is little evidence that service workers are earning meaningful long-term gains. While companies have salary increase, these increases can be easily eroded by inflation, if they have not already been. The overall national rate of membership in unions – which can secure wage increases for workers even in the absence of labor shortages – matched its lowest level recorded Last year.
By the way, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed 2020 data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development on the typical number of hours worked per week among full-time employees in 35 mostly wealthy countries. In some countries, like the Netherlandsthe average full-time working week is 29.5 hours or, in Denmark, 32.5 hours.
Start your understanding of this story by stipulating that even on a clear day, street-level parking is gold in big cities. So when the snow falls, city dwellers mark off their parking spaces with space savers. The idea is that if you do the job of clearing a parking spot, it should be your spot for a few days. NJ.com explains the tradition:
For drivers who live in apartments and in cities without the luxury of off-street parking, one of the most frustrating sights can be looking in the rearview mirror to see another vehicle slide into the parking space where you have spent so much time laboriously shoveling snow. of.
Technically, this is the downside of parking on a public road. But in some places there is a strange, parochial custom called “savesies” that drivers and residents use to remedy this situation.
Washington, DC and New York ban the practice of reserving street parking using objects, Bier said. In these cities, the item is removed and the responsible parties are ticketed, which in New York is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000.
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