May 06, 2011
In 2010, the mother was employed in 65.4 percent of married-couple families with children under the age of 18—a record low for the series. The series began in 1994. The mother was employed in 67.0 percent of families with children maintained by women in which no spouse was present.
Prior to 1997, the percentage of married-couple families where the mother was employed was greater than the percentage of families maintained by women (no spouse present) with an employed mother. From 1997 to 2010, families maintained by women with no spouse present were more likely to have an employed mother than were married-couple families with children.
In 2010, the mother was employed in 58.9 percent of married-couple families with younger children (under 6 years of age), compared with 59.6 percent of families in which no spouse was present.
Among families with older children (6 to 17 years of age, none younger), the mother was employed in 72.1 percent of families maintained by women in 2010, compared with 70.7 percent (a record low for the series) of married-couple families.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Share of married-couple families with an employed mother at its lowest, 1994-2010 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2011/ted_20110506.htm (visited November 30, 2015).
Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.