US companies with policies that support staff seeking an abortion saw a jump in interest from job seekers — but current workers were less satisfied, highlighting the double-edged sword of wading into politics.
(Bloomberg) — US companies with policies that support staff seeking an abortion saw a jump in interest from job seekers — but current workers were less satisfied, highlighting the double-edged sword of wading into politics.
Online clicks for job postings at firms that announced support for reproductive health care after last year’s Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade rose 8% compared with peers, according to a report published Wednesday led by Indeed Inc. Meanwhile, staff satisfaction ratings of senior management fell by the same amount, driven by those in typically male-dominated positions.
Firms providing access to abortion care “are able to attract more job seekers but of course there’s that minority that will react strongly and say ‘we didn’t like it,’” said Svenja Gudell, chief economist at the jobs website.
The findings are among the first to show the potential labor-market impact from the decision, and highlight the balancing act employers face providing reproductive care while avoiding alienating workers. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen last year said that overturning the federal right to an abortion would have devastating effects on the economy and jobs.
Indeed Hiring Lab and researchers at the University of Southern California, University of Maryland and IZA Institute of Labor Economics co-published the report. The study reviewed 3 billion online job-seeker clicks, 2.5 million postings with wage information and 6.5 million company reviews from Glassdoor and Indeed.
The data also showed that companies announcing support for abortion care boosted wages 4% compared with peers, which could have been a result of them trying to “placate the employee base,” she added. Several large US firms announced abortion travel policies prior to the Supreme Court ruling, as well as after the June 24 decision.
The declining sentiment among staff could be the result of different cultural, political or workplace views. Male employees are also far less likely to use the reproductive health benefits, authors wrote in the paper.
The Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling overturning the federal right to an abortion “didn’t only have deep impacts on women across the country, but also on the labor market,” Gudell said. “And it’s not just a vague correlation.”
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