New Study Identifies More than $650 Million in Annual Economic Opportunity for Mississippi

February 28, 2020

Takeaways

Childcare issues result in an estimated $673 million loss annually for Mississippi’s economy.
More than 40% of parents in Mississippi postponed school or a training program due to childcare issues.

U.S. Chamber Foundation Report Estimates $120 Million in Lost Tax Revenue Due to Inadequate Childcare 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 28, 2020) – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation today released a new report examining the impact of childcare issues on Mississippi’s state economy. The report is part of a broader “Untapped Potential” study of four U.S. states – Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania – that reveals the cost of childcare challenges and opportunities to unlock economic potential for states and employers. 

The study found that Mississippi misses an estimated $673 million annually for the state’s economy. This number includes a $120 million annual loss in tax revenue as well as an annual loss to Mississippi employers of $553 million on absences and employee turnover as a result of childcare breakdowns.  

“Nothing is more critical to Mississippi’s economy than the development of a strong workforce, and this begins with connecting the dots with education,” said Scott Waller, president and CEO of the Mississippi Economic Council. “To fully prepare our future workforce, a focus on quality early childhood education is a vital part of the equation. Ensuring parents have access to quality childcare strengthens today’s workforce and provides a strong educational foundation for developing a job-ready workforce of the future.” 

Key findings include:  

  • Childcare issues result in a total estimated $673 million annual loss for Mississippi’s economy. 
    • The state misses out on an estimated $120 million annually in tax revenue due to childcare issues. 
    • Absences and employee turnover cost Mississippi employers a further estimated $553 million per year. 
  • Over 75% of surveyed parents in Mississippi rely on family members for childcare. 
  • Nearly 11% of parents had to voluntarily leave a job due to childcare issues. 
  • More than 40% of parents in Mississippi postponed school or a training program due to childcare issues.  

“Each state's challenges are unique–as are their childcare systems, and the diversity of their employers–so the solutions that tackle these challenges must be unique as well,” said Cheryl Oldham, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Center for Education and Workforce. “To solve this complex issue, it will take a collaboration of partners, including federal and state investment, support from the business community, philanthropic organizations, and expertise from early education advocates and providers.” 

The report was unveiled as part of a series of economic studies of Iowa, Idaho, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s national Early Ed Summit at the Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. The Summit hosted workforce leaders and early education advocates to discuss the economic impact of childcare breakdowns, unique challenges faced by each state, and the role of business in solving this childcare crisis.  

To access the full reports, videos, report methodology, and other resources, visit: uschamberfoundation.org/UntappedPotential 


About the U.S. Chamber Foundation 
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness. We educate the public on the conditions necessary for business and communities to thrive, how business positively impacts communities, and emerging issues and creative solutions that will shape the future.  

About the U.S. Chamber of Commerce 
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.