Untapped MI 082523 DIGITAL


August 25, 2023


Michigan ranks 39th in labor force participation relative to other states, and our findings indicate many parents may not be able to continue working without adequate childcare options.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) recognizes childcare as a two-generation workforce issue that is essential to supporting today’s workforce and developing the workforce of tomorrow. Unfortunately, the current supply of childcare falls short of demand, a problem that existed before the COVID-19 pandemic and has only become more severe since. Childcare gaps drive parents out of the workforce, reduce tax revenue for the state, and put undue strain on Michigan households– particularly among the most economically vulnerable. While these challenges are complex and persistent, they are addressable, and the business community can play a central role in developing solutions that benefit all Michiganders.

Recognizing that a data-driven understanding of the impact of childcare breakdowns on working parents, their employers, and the state economy is prerequisite to creating meaningful solutions, USCCF partnered with the Grand Rapids Chamber, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and the Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC) to produce this report, which aims to understand the unique needs of working parents in Michigan by exploring the current childcare landscape. Our report estimates how often parents leave the workforce, are absent from school or work, or miss educational opportunities due to insufficient childcare support.

Data for this report was gathered by surveying a representative sample of 501 parents of children under the age of six across Michigan. Survey results were then used to model an estimate of the direct financial impact of insufficient childcare coverage on Michigan’s economy—$2.88 billion each year.

Key Findings:

  • Michigan's economy loses an estimated $2.88 billion annually due to childcare issues
  • Michigan misses an estimated $576 million annually in tax revenue due to childcare issues
  • Childcare-related employee turnover and absenteeism costs Michigan employers an estimated $2.3 billion per year