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Coronavirus causes gender wage gap concerns

Before the pandemic, women in the U.S. made 81-cents for every dollar a man made.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — There's a lot of uncertainty right now as families make tough decisions about work and child care. For many families, the coronavirus pandemic has already caused a loss of income.

The fear is that the pandemic will cause the gender wage gap to grow as more women cut back on their hours to take on child care responsibilities. The unemployment rate for women is higher than is it for men right now. Also, in the United States, women make 81-cents for every dollar a man makes. 

And, because of the coronavirus, CNBC reports that women are more likely than men to be in industries where there are cuts or to take time off to care for children or other family members. 

Brandi Moore is from Tonawanda. She's been a teacher for 10 years, and is a single mom of three boys. Her youngest is living with autism, and said she's really concerned about what school will look like in the fall because any sort of hybrid schedule could mean she'd have to come up with an extra $2,000 a month for child care.

"If we do hybrid, I don't know how I will afford to go back to school because the additional child care is going to cost me to be at work full time, is going to be assuming around $2,000 a month because my other two will have to go to some form of child care at least three days a week," Moore said. "So, it's going to cost me anywhere from $2,000, to honestly it could be up to $3,000 for them, and I just don't know where that money is going to come from. Plus, I'll be working full time. Plus, I'll have to home school my kids on the days that they don't go to school after I come home from work, and I know I'm probably not the only single parent in that situation."

Moore isn't the only person 2 On Your Side heard from on Monday having to make tough choices. There was another woman who didn't want to go on-camera because she was afraid it would have a negative impact on her job. She says she gets paid a lot less than her male co-workers and is having to make decisions about child care, too.

Before the pandemic, according to CNBC, the wage gap for parents was even bigger than the wage gap between men and women - working moms earned 70-cents for every dollar a working dad made.