Economic News Release

Employment Characteristics of Families Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Friday, April 25, 2014                           USDL-14-0658
Technical information: (202) 691-6378 • cpsinfo@bls.gov • www.bls.gov/cps 
Media contact:         (202) 691-5902 • PressOffice@bls.gov


                          EMPLOYMENT CHARACTERISTICS OF FAMILIES -- 2013


In 2013, 9.6 percent of families included an unemployed person, down from 10.5 percent
in 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Of the nation's 80.4
million families, 80.0 percent had at least one employed member in 2013.

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 7.7 million in
2013 from 8.4 million in 2012. The proportion of families with an unemployed member
decreased to 9.6 percent in 2013. Black and Hispanic families remained more likely to
have an unemployed member in 2013 (16.0 percent and 12.9 percent, respectively) than
white and Asian families (8.5 percent and 7.8 percent, respectively). (See table 1.)

Two-thirds (67.6 percent) of families with an unemployed member in 2013 also had at
least one family member who was employed, essentially unchanged from 2012. Among
families with an unemployed family member, 4.5 million, or 58.0 percent, also had at
least one family member who was employed full time. (See table 1.)

Among married-couple families with an unemployed member, the proportion of families with
at least one employed family member was 79.4 percent in 2013, down from 80.2 percent in
2012. Among families maintained by men (no spouse present) with an unemployed member,
56.4 percent had an employed member in 2013; for families maintained by women (no spouse
present), the proportion was 47.4 percent. Both proportions increased from 2012. (See
table 3.)

Families and Employment

The share of families with an employed member was unchanged at 80.0 percent in 2013. The
likelihood of having an employed family member rose in 2013 for Asian families (to 88.8
percent) and for Hispanic families (to 85.1 percent). The likelihood for white and black
families showed little or no change (80.1 percent and 75.7 percent, respectively).
(See table 1.)

In 2013, families maintained by women with no spouse present remained less likely to have
an employed member (73.3 percent) than married-couple families (81.5 percent) or families
maintained by men with no spouse present (81.7 percent). Both the husband and wife were
employed in 47.4 percent of married-couple families in 2013. The husband was the only
worker in 20.1 percent of married-couple families, and the wife was the only worker in
7.8 percent of these families. (See table 2.)

Families with Children

In 2013, about 43 percent of all families included children (sons, daughters, step-
children, or adopted children) under age 18. Among the 34.4 million families with
children, 88.2 percent had at least one employed parent in 2013. The mother was
employed in 68.2 percent of families maintained by women with no spouse present in
2013, and the father was employed in 81.2 percent of families maintained by men with
no spouse present. Among married-couple families with children, 96.3 percent had at
least one employed parent in 2013. The share of married-couple families with children
where both parents worked was 59.1 percent. (See table 4.)

Mothers

The labor force participation rate--the percent of the population working or looking
for work--for all mothers with children under age 18 was 69.9 percent in 2013. The
participation rate for married mothers with a spouse present (67.8 percent) remained
lower in 2013 than the rate for mothers with other marital statuses (74.2 percent).
(Other marital status refers to persons who never married or are widowed, divorced,
separated, or married but living apart from their spouse.) Married mothers were about
as likely to be employed as mothers with other marital statuses, with employment-
population ratios of 64.5 percent and 65.3 percent, respectively. However, the
unemployment rate of married mothers was substantially lower--4.8 percent, compared
with 12.0 percent for mothers with other marital statuses. (See table 5.)

Mothers with younger children are less likely to be in the labor force than mothers
with older children. In 2013, the labor force participation rate of mothers with
children under 6 years old (63.9 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 57.3 percent. Among mothers with infants,
there was essentially no difference in the participation rate of married mothers
(57.5 percent) and those with other marital statuses (56.7 percent). However, the
unemployment rate for married mothers of infants, at 4.8 percent, was considerably
lower than the rate for mothers with other marital statuses, at 19.0 percent. (See
tables 5 and 6.)

 _____________________________________________________________________________________
|                                                                                     |
|                Changes to estimation methodology for tables 5 and 6                 |
|                                                                                     |
| Estimates in tables 5 and 6 of this release have been created using a different     |
| estimation methodology than was used in past versions of this annual release.       |
| This new methodology results in higher estimates of mothers and fathers. It was     |
| implemented to provide more accurate counts of the number of people with children,  |
| particularly among those classified in the category "other marital status." Because |
| of this change, the estimates in tables 5 and 6 of this release are not strictly    |
| comparable with data for previous years. The change also was applied to data for    |
| 2012 in tables 5 and 6; therefore, 2012 estimates presented in these tables do not  |
| match those published in the "Employment Characteristics of Families--2012" news    |
| release.                                                                            |
|_____________________________________________________________________________________|



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Last Modified Date: April 25, 2014
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