Baby steps: Shared parental leave is growing in the US

Not yet a subscriber? Sign up free below.

Family time

In January, some 478,000 workers were taking parental leave in the US. That's the most since data first started being gathered in 1994, and although the figures for February and March are not as high, it’s a clear reflection of a steady trend — particularly among fathers. Indeed, paternity leave made up 16% of the total parental leave in 2022, up from 7% just a decade ago.

The Wall Street Journal, in its analysis of the data, points to the post-pandemic births boom, as well as the increasing share of Americans who have access to parental leave in their jobs, now up to 25% from 19% in 2019.

Baby steps

While access has improved — 396,000 American workers took parental leave each month on average in 2022, up from 270,000 some 20 years earlier — the US still lags surprisingly far behind other countries.

Unlike 63% of nations around the world, the US doesn’t offer a national paid parental leave program for fathers and it’s one of only 7 countries that has no mandated paid parental leave policy for women either.

Not yet a subscriber? Sign up free below.


Stories from this newsletter

The financial frontier: Charting NASA's budget, as moon missions return
Baby steps: Shared parental leave is growing in the US
Poppin' off: America's bought more Champagne than ever in recent years
We and our partners use cookies and similar technologies (“Cookies”) on our website and in our newsletters for performance, analytical or advertising purposes to ensure you have the best experience on our site and/or interaction with us. To find out more about the use of Cookies, see our Cookie Notice. Please click OK if you consent to our use of Cookies or click Manage my Preferences to manage your Cookie preferences.