ERIC Number: ED473893
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Jan-27
The Role of Parental Work in Child Poverty. A Report of the Heritage Center for Data Analysis.
Rector, Robert E.; Hederman, Rea S., Jr.
This report analyzes the relationship between parental employment and child poverty using two measures of income: money income, which includes most cash received by the family but excludes a wide range of welfare aid, and expanded measures of income, which includes food stamps, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and school lunch subsidies. This measure also deducts FICA, or Social Security taxes, from income. Results suggest that low work levels by parents are a major cause of child poverty, as opposed to parents' low hourly wage rates. While most poor families with children are "working families," on average, the level of employment in poor families is quite low. Roughly three-quarters of all poor families with children have total parental work levels of less than 2,000 hours per year (the equivalent of one adult working 40 hours per week for 50 weeks). Nearly half of all poor families with children have less then 1,000 hours of paid employment throughout the year. Despite the availability of extensive government support, nearly 4.4 million families with children remain in poverty. The report concludes that even at current wage rates, child poverty could be dramatically reduced by increasing the number of hours that parents work throughout the year. (Contains 13 endnotes.) (SM)
Descriptors: Child Welfare, Employed Parents, Employment Patterns, Family Income, Poverty, Welfare Services
Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E., Washington, DC 20002-4999. Tel: 202-546-4400; Web site: http://www.heritage.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC.