Economic News Release

Employment Characteristics of Families Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, April 23, 2015                 USDL-15-0689

Technical information:  (202) 691-6378  •  cpsinfo@bls.gov  •  www.bls.gov/cps
Media contact:          (202) 691-5902  •  PressOffice@bls.gov


             EMPLOYMENT CHARACTERISTICS OF FAMILIES -- 2014


In 2014, 8.0 percent of families included an unemployed person, down from 
9.6 percent in 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Of 
the nation's 80.9 million families, 80.1 percent had at least one employed 
member in 2014.

These data on employment, unemployment, and family relationships are 
collected as part of the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly sample 
survey of approximately 60,000 households. Data in this release are annual 
averages. Families are classified either as married-couple families or as 
families maintained by women or men without spouses present. Unless 
otherwise noted, families include those without children as well as those 
with children under age 18. For further information, see the Technical Note.

Families and Unemployment

The number of families with at least one member unemployed decreased to 
6.5 million in 2014 from 7.7 million in 2013. The proportion of families 
with an unemployed member declined to 8.0 percent in 2014. Black and 
Hispanic families remained more likely to have an unemployed member in 
2014 (14.1 percent and 10.8 percent, respectively) than white and Asian 
families (7.0 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively). (See table 1.)

About two-thirds (68.1 percent) of families with an unemployed member in 
2014 also had at least one family member who was employed, about the same 
as the prior year. Among families with an unemployed family member, 58.9 
percent had at least one family member who was employed full time, up 
from 58.0 percent in 2013. (See table 1.)

Among married-couple families with an unemployed member, the proportion 
of families with at least one employed family member was 80.4 percent in 
2014, up from 79.4 percent in 2013. Among families maintained by women 
(no spouse present) with an unemployed member, 48.4 percent also had an 
employed member in 2014; for families maintained by men (no spouse 
present), the proportion was 57.7 percent. Both proportions were little 
changed from 2013. (See table 3.)

Families and Employment

The share of families with an employed member was about unchanged at 
80.1 percent in 2014. The likelihood of having an employed family member 
rose in 2014 for black families (from 75.7 percent to 76.4 percent) and
for Hispanic families (from 85.1 percent to 85.9 percent). The likelihood
for white and Asian families showed little or no change (80.1 percent and
88.5 percent, respectively). (See table 1.)

In 2014, families maintained by women with no spouse present remained 
less likely to have an employed member (74.4 percent) than families 
maintained by men with no spouse present (83.0 percent) or married-couple 
families (81.4 percent). Both the husband and wife were employed in 47.7 
percent of married-couple families in 2014. The husband was the only 
worker in 19.9 percent of married-couple families, and the wife was the 
only worker in 7.5 percent of these families. (See table 2.)

Families with Children

In 2014, about 43 percent of all families included children under age 18. 
(Children are sons, daughters, step-children, or adopted children living 
in the household. Not included are nieces, nephews, grandchildren, other 
related and unrelated children, and children not living in the household.) 
Among the 34.4 million families with children, 88.7 percent had at least 
one employed parent in 2014. Among married-couple families with children, 
96.6 percent had at least one employed parent in 2014. The share of 
married-couple families with children where both parents worked was 60.2 
percent. The mother was employed in 69.4 percent of families with 
children maintained by women with no spouse present in 2014, and the 
father was employed in 81.9 percent of families with children maintained 
by men with no spouse present. (See table 4.)

Parents

The labor force participation rate--the percent of the population working 
or looking for work--for all mothers with children under age 18 was 70.1 
percent in 2014. The participation rate for married mothers with a 
spouse present (67.8 percent) remained lower than the rate for mothers 
with other marital statuses (74.6 percent). (Other marital status refers 
to persons who never married or are widowed, divorced, separated, or 
married but living apart from their spouse.) The unemployment rate for 
married mothers was substantially lower than for mothers with other 
marital statuses--4.0 percent, compared with 10.3 percent. (See table 5.)

Mothers with younger children are less likely to be in the labor force 
than mothers with older children. In 2014, the labor force participation 
rate of mothers with children under 6 years old (64.2 percent) was lower 
than the rate of those whose youngest child was 6 to 17 years old (74.7 
percent). The participation rate of mothers with infants under a year 
old was 57.1 percent. Among mothers with infants, there was little 
difference in the participation rates of married mothers (57.9 percent) 
and those with other marital statuses (55.8 percent). However, the 
unemployment rate for married mothers of infants, at 4.1 percent, was 
considerably lower than the rate for mothers with other marital statuses, 
at 15.6 percent. (See tables 5 and 6.)

In 2014, 92.8 percent of all fathers with children under age 18 
participated in the labor force. The rate for married fathers with a 
spouse present (93.7 percent) continued to be higher than the 
participation rate for fathers with other marital statuses (87.1 
percent). Married fathers had a lower unemployment rate (3.2 percent) 
than fathers with other marital statuses (8.7 percent). (See table 5.) 



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Last Modified Date: April 23, 2015
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