Investing in care creates more jobs for women and makes economic sense, finds new ITUC report

launch of the ITUC report 'Investing in Care in Emerging Economies – Jobs and Inclusive Growth' on investing in care services

Launch of the ITUC report 'Investing in Care in Emerging Economies – Jobs and Inclusive Growth' on investing in care services

(5 April 2017)  Investing in health and care creates more jobs and is better for the economy, more so than investing in traditional, bricks-and-mortar infrastructure, confirms a new International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) report. The study, which was authored by the Women’s Budget Group, simulates the employment effects of investing 2% of GDP in health and care in 6 developing countries.

The new report follows on from a similar study looking at 7 OECD countries. In both cases the results are startling, forecasting a rise in overall employment of between 0.5% and 6.1%. In all but one of the countries studied, the employment effect was at least equal to, and often far greater, than only investing the same amount in construction.

This ITUC report was launched on 30 March at the offices of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Brussels. Professor Susan Himmelweit, one of the authors, explained the methodology behind the simulations, which allowed for the comparison between the employment impact of investment in care and construction, in terms of job creation and gender equality.

In most countries, particularly in the most developed countries, women would be the main beneficiaries of these new jobs. Indeed, investing in care has a doubly positive effect on women’s employment: it provides work in sectors traditionally dominated by women and would also allow more women to enter the labour market by taking over informal care duties done in the home. 

EPSU attended the launch event and responded to the positive appraisal of private investment in care by the representative of the European Commission. The truth is that there is no evidence that the private sector delivers more positive outcomes than the public. EPSU, together with our international federation, Public Services International, represents care workers in Europe and around the world.

The full report on investing in health and care in developing economies can be found on the ITUC website. The previous report on care in OECD countries is also available.

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