ERIC Number: ED317691
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Labor Force Participation of Dual-Earner Couples and Single Parents. Background Paper No. 24.
In 1940, 8.6 percent of women with children 18 and under were in the labor force. By 1987, that figure was 65 percent. In 1976, 40 percent of the mothers of preschoolers were employed, compared to 58 percent in 1987. In 1988, 53 percent of women with children under 3 years held jobs. Sixty percent of the men in the labor force are married to women who also hold jobs. Between 1970 and 1985, the number of one-parent families more than doubled. Between 1970 and 1984, the fraction of poor people living in mother-only, nonelderly families climbed from 34 to 43 percent. Of single mothers with children under 6 years, 53 percent are in the labor force. Two-thirds of employed women are either the sole support of their families or married to men who earn less than $15,000 a year. Surveys indicate that 20 to 30 percent of employees of Fortune 500 companies care for elderly parents on a regular basis. Child care is difficult to find and obtain and is expensive. Parents are forced to put together a patchwork system that tends to fall apart. The effect of maternal employment on young children depends on the attitudes of the mother and father about working, job stress, other family stress, and the quality of the child care children receive. The quality of child care can have a lasting impact on children's development, most strongly affecting children's social development, scholastic achievement, and motivation as learners. (Men's contribution to family life, employer assistance for dependent care, flexible time and leave policies, and the psychological aspects of jobs are also discussed in this paper. Policy recommendations are made. A 75-item reference list is included.) (CML)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Child Development, Day Care, Day Care Centers, Employed Parents, Employed Women, Employer Supported Day Care, Employment Patterns, Family Caregivers, Family Environment, Family Relationship, Flexible Working Hours, Fringe Benefits, Motivation, One Parent Family, Parent Attitudes, Program Effectiveness, Social Development, Young Children
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Labor, Washington, DC. Commission on Workforce Quality and Labor Market Efficiency.
Authoring Institution: N/A