Inflation Hits Women Particularly Hard. Here’s What To Do About It

By Francis Tunwase

Inflation has become the biggest financial worry for most Americans in the past year or so. Following a lengthy period of cash infusion as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the government has now been battling rising inflation and an economic slowdown. 

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And while the Federal Reserve has had some success with keeping inflation back under control, there is a sense that this battle could drag out for a bit longer. 

How Inflation Affects Women 

Now, there is no denying the fact that inflation affects everyone. Nonetheless, a recent report is emphasizing that this pattern presents a particular difficulty for women. To understand the impact of inflation on women, it is critical to examine two factors – childcare costs and disposable income. 

Over the past year, childcare costs in the United States have outpaced the growth of wages. Daycare and preschool prices alone have risen by almost six percent, while childcare inflation has continued to rise faster than average family income gains.

While these costs keep rising, it is also worth noting that sectors of the economy with the highest share of female workers have been especially hit hard by inflation. These include education, healthcare, and technology.

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This, combined with the fact that women are prevented from progressing in their careers due to their caregiving responsibilities, means that there is more pressure on them to do more with much less. 

The long-term results of this will most likely be that women won’t be able to build their retirement savings. According to data, women’s 401(k) balances were only two-thirds of men’s. And, depending on the result of the Fed’s monetary policies, women – particularly women of color – could see significant impacts on their economic futures. 

As for possible solutions, experts are calling on companies to invest more in the well-being of their female employees. Progressive social legislation could also help, alleviating major costs like eldercare, childcare, and public education.