Over the past 15 years, labor market participation for U.S. women in their prime working years has been on a steady decline, reversing the growth trend of the previous 20 years. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT?!
In this Working Moms Mean Business episode, BBVA Compass economist Amanda Augustine, co-author of a recent study analyzing the shift, explains why this is happening, why you should care, and what can be done to reverse it. Also, my friend Betsy Smith shares about her journey from staff employee, to fulltime stay-at-home mom, to corporate worker, to a successful entrepreneuer earning multiple six-figures.
Notable points of the BBVA study:
- In 2015, the United States was the only Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development member country where this downward shift was happening.
- Married moms with a household income of less than $50,000 were more likely to stay home full time with children, while those with a household income of up to $200,000 were more likely to work, because they could afford child care.
- White mothers of young children are more likely to stop working or scale back because they tend to be in positions where more flexible schedules can be negotiated.
- Black mothers with young children have the lowest income of the races studied in the report, and the highest workforce participation rate. Why? Black mothers, as well as Asian mothers, had the highest likelihood of an older person (such as a grandparent available for babysitting) also living in the home.
- Policies that allow women to re-enter the workforce in significant numbers, the report suggests, would improve wages and the economy for everyone.
This is part of a very special podcast series, Working Moms Mean Business.
Read or download the free (mega) book written by me: Free from Guilt: Why Moms Have it, and How to Conquer It,which is all about why so many of us struggle with being working moms, even though most of us need to work to live, and science says kids, families, marriage, society and moms thrive when we work.
Other episodes in the series: