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There's good news for Buffalo and New York parents who were forced to leave their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic to take care of their kids. The New York State Assembly has passed a bill that gives unemployment benefits to parents who had to leave their jobs to take care of their children.  Right now, in New York, most people who voluntarily leave their jobs are not eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.

According to WIVB, this new legislation makes it clear that child care, especially during the pandemic, is a "compelling family reason" for a parent to leave the workforce.

New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said,

"The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a devastating toll on New York’s working families. Too many parents and guardians – and women especially – have been forced to leave the workforce because they could not find child care."


Women Have Suffered High Job Losses Due to Pandemic

The pandemic has had devastating effects on women in the workforce. Many have lost their jobs due to financial reasons, but many have had to quit in order to take care of their children. According to NBC, the January jobs report in the United States says that 275,000 women left the workforce in January of 2021. Compare that to 71,000 men who stopped working in January. Since February of 2020, the beginning of the pandemic, nearly 2.4 million women have left the workforce, compared to less than 1.8 million men.

Hopefully, being able to get unemployment benefits for choosing to take care of their children, will benefit some of the women in New York, who had to make a choice between their families and their jobs.

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