New Study Identifies More than $3 Billion in Annual Economic Opportunity for Pennsylvania

February 28, 2020

Takeaways

Absences and employee turnover cost Pennsylvania employers an estimated $2.88 billion per year. 
Approximately four in 10 parents in Pennsylvania postponed school or a training program due to childcare issues.  

U.S. Chamber Foundation Report Estimates $591 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 Pennsylvania’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 Pennsylvania misses an estimated $3.47 billion annually for the state’s economy. This number includes a $591 million annual loss in tax revenue as well as an annual loss to Pennsylvania employers of $2.88 billion on absences and employee turnover as a result of childcare breakdowns.  

“The lack of affordable, quality childcare is a critical component of the workforce issues plaguing Pennsylvania and states across the country,” Gene Barr, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. “This issue has acted as a barrier for many people to enter the workforce – leaving an entire segment of the population that is ready and able to work out of career paths that pay family-sustaining incomes. As part of the Pennsylvania Chamber’s workforce initiative, Start the Conversation Here, we are pleased to partner with the U.S. Chamber Foundation and elected officials across the Commonwealth and nation on solutions to address this workforce challenge.” 

Key findings include:  

  • Childcare issues result in a total estimated $3.47 billion annual loss for Pennsylvania’s economy. 
    • The state misses out on an estimated $591 million annually in tax revenue due to childcare issues. 
    • Absences and employee turnover cost Pennsylvania employers a further estimated $2.88 billion per year. 
  • At least 55% of parents in Pennsylvania reported missing work due to childcare issues in the past 3 months. 
  • Approximately four in 10 parents in Pennsylvania 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.