Investing 2% of GDP in care industries could create 1.5 million jobs

Date Posted: Tuesday 8th March 2016

2016, A report for the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)

Feminist EconomicsInvestmentSocial Infrastructure

 

Invest in the care economy to create twice as many jobs as investment in construction industries and promote gender equality.

A report by the UK Women’s Budget Group for the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) shows that investing public funds in childcare and elder care services is more effective in reducing public deficits and debt than austerity policies: it would boost employment, earnings, economic growth and fosters gender equality. Key findings of the report are:

  • In total, up to 1.5 million jobs could be created in the UK if 2% of GDP were invested in care industries, compared to 750,000 for an equivalent investment in construction.
  • Simulation results from seven OECD countries showed that investing 2% of GDP in public services of care would create almost as many jobs for men as investing in construction industries in the UK, US, Germany and Australia but would create up to four times as many jobs for women
  • Women’s employment rate would rise by up to 8 points in the US and more than 5 points in the UK, Germany, Australia and Japan, reducing the gender employment gap by up to 50% in the US and a quarter in the UK
  • Compared to business-as-usual austerity policies, significant public investment boost would have larger positive effects on economic growth and debt reduction in the mid-term (by 2030)

A link to the full report can be found here.

A briefing paper summarising the key findings is here.