Working Mothers in the U.S. Economy Could Be Hit Hard by the COVID-19 Pandemic

The United States Census Burea released new data on working mothers in the United States. There were around 23.5 million employed women with children under the age of 18 and nearly two-thirds worked full-time, year-round, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey.

In 2018, over three-quarters of working women with children under 18 were between the ages of 30 and 49. Forty-four percent of working mothers 25 or older had a bachelor’s degree or higher compared with 38 percent of all workers 25 or older. This is in line with other trends showing that new mothers with higher educational attainment are more likely than all new mothers to have jobs. These age and educational differences may contribute to women with children having higher median earnings ($44,190) than women overall ($42,295).

Nearly half of working mothers worked in management, business, science, and arts occupations. Some of the most common jobs for women were as teachers in elementary and middle schools (1.3 million) and as registered nurses (1.1 million).

Women with younger children worked less than those with older children. Around 75 percent of women with “school-age” children ages 6 to 17 only (meaning they don’t have younger children) were employed compared with 62 percent of women with both pre-school and school-age children.

Other analyses have predicted that the COVID-19 pandemic will have more impact on women’s jobs. Women tend to make up a large percentage of workers in the hotel, restaurant, and hospitality industry a well as the retail industry all of which have been severely impacted. Also, with many school children studying at home, many working mothers must also work from home or take leave so that their children have supervision during normal working hours.

Filed Under: Research/Study

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