US News

Government Stimulus, Remote Work May Have Fueled A Baby Boom

http://dailycaller.com/

  • Remote work and government stimulus may have fueled a baby boom, according to data examined by the Institute for Family Studies.
  • Though U.S. births dropped between November 2020 and February 2021, Institute for Family Studies (IFS) researchers said, births had returned to March 2020 levels by March 2021 (the latest data available from the CDC).
  • “In essence, in a country where generous maternity leave is rare, pandemic-related benefits and work changes created de facto baby bonuses and paid leave programs for a lot of (former) workers,” the IFS researchers wrote.

Remote work and government stimulus may have fueled a baby boom, according to data examined by the Institute for Family Studies.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released in May found that U.S. fertility rates were at their lowest in over four decades: the provisional number of births in the U.S. in 2020 was down 4% from 2019 and U.S. women gave birth to approximately 3.61 million babies in 2020 (compared to about 3.75 million births in 2019).

Though U.S. births dropped between November 2020 and February 2021, Institute for Family Studies (IFS) researchers said, births had returned to March 2020 levels by March 2021 (the latest data available from the CDC).

“Conceptions plummeted during the lockdowns of March, April, and May, but as reopening began in June, conceptions rapidly normalized,” IFS researchers Brad Wilcox and Lyman Stone reported. “Conventional stories about fertility don’t fit well here: employment was still extremely suppressed in the summer of 2020 and excess death rates were very high. It was not, in conventional terms, a good time to make a baby.”

Unlike the birth decline between 2008 and 2009, the pandemic birth decline “proved transient,” according to IFS.

While the CDC hasn’t released data further than March 2021, pregnancy data is available from Arizona, Hawaii, California, Iowa, Colorado, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Ohio, Florida and Oklahoma. That data shows a general trend that births are quickly rebounding to almost 2019 levels, according to IFS.

“Given that lockdowns and other policy measures, high unemployment, and excess deaths from COVID-19 persisted long past April 2020, and indeed to the present day, this is an astonishing outcome,” the researchers said.

A University of Michigan study published in June 2021 found that pregnancies sharply declined during Michigan’s initial lockdown before rising above 2019 levels by the end of 2020. The University of Virginia medical system also confirmed this trend to IFS.

“There’s a plausible theory about why this birth rebound happened so fast,” the IFS researchers wrote. “In this theory, the summer of 2020 was also a time when the country began to realize two key facts: first, that the pandemic was probably going to go on for a long time, with many, recurrent waves, and second, that some of the changes the pandemic brought were very helpful to families.”

Many people realized that they were not low on cash due to stimulus checks and unemployment benefits, IFS noted. Families also noticed that as remote work continued, more workers likely began banking on remote work lasting long enough to have babies.

“In essence, in a country where generous maternity leave is rare, pandemic-related benefits and work changes created de facto baby bonuses and paid leave programs for a lot of (former) workers,” the IFS researchers wrote.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected]

Related Articles

Back to top button

Get the Latest News Right in Your Inbox Each Morning:

Subscribe to the CDN Morning News Blast!

* indicates required



Email Format