BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Are Utah parents satisfied with their work and child care balance?

Sep 7, 2022, 11:17 AM | Updated: Sep 23, 2022, 12:51 pm
Utah work childcare balance survey working parents Utah...
FILE - A person looks inside the closed doors of the Pasadena Community Job Center in Pasadena, Calif., during the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

SALT LAKE CITY — A new survey from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute addresses whether parents in Utah are happy with their work and childcare balance. And, in partnership with the Salt Lake Chamber, the institute suggests most parents are satisfied with their current work and childcare balance. However, almost all respondents said they think businesses can do more to help parents who work outside the home achieve an ideal situation.

And employers are in a position where listening to those concerns is important. The beehive state has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. Utah’s labor market has become increasingly competitive with just 2% of unemployment. So, employers, too, are looking for the most supportive policies to enact to recruit, support, and retain working parents. 

The survey addressed policies such as increased wages and salaries, paid family leave, flexible/stable hours and schedule, remote/hybrid work options, better part-time job opportunities and childcare assistance.

“This survey highlights working parents as an important labor resource and who believe there are several policies employers could offer that would support them in getting closer to their ideal balance between paid work and childcare,” said a lead author of the report, Samantha Ball, Gardner Institute Senior Research Associate.

Key findings about work and childcare balance in Utah

Many parents and guardians admitted they would work more or seek out other jobs they felt offered more supportive policies.

Although increased wages and salaries were ranked as important by the largest sum of respondents (86%), they were not ranked as the most influential when choosing to change jobs, employers or industries.

Instead, when making those choices, survey respondents said salary and wages came in sixth place. The most influential workplace policies for parents who work outside the home are: 

  1. Additional remote work opportunities (33%),
  2. More flexible/predictable hours (25 %),
  3. Additional part-time opportunities for career advancement (11%),
  4. Greater assistance with childcare subsidies (10%), and
  5. Onsite childcare (9%).

It is important to note demographics play a role in responses from parents as well as the ages of their children. Overall, respondents felt there is plenty of room for growth in the realm of supportive work-place policies. 

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Are Utah parents satisfied with their work and child care balance?