According to a recent New York Times report, there are 2.7 million single mothers in the U.S. and they are taking the job force by storm. Since 2015 the number of single moms in the workforce has risen by four percent.
In recent years, provisions that make work more accessible to women raising their families alone, as the Current Population Survey, analyzed by the New York Times, has discovered.
After 2015 the data showed that about 80 percent of single moms between the age of 25 and 34 are in the labor force. In comparison, married mothers in the workforce sat slightly below 65 percent.
The report explains that with federal safety nets under attack many single moms may be pushed to find work for pay to make ends meet. However, local policies such as paid leave and better wages are paving the way for women to take that leap.
Nursing, inventory jobs at warehouses and managerial jobs had the most growth in employment for single moms between 2015 and 2018. It was also noted that retail jobs have seen the steepest decline.
The women who are chiefly responsible for the four percent surge? Women without college degrees, according to the report. It’s no secret that single moms typically have to work twice as hard to raise safe and healthy children. Most of this demographic tend to have younger children and half of them make less than $30,000 a year.
Although these women are making amazing strides for themselves, despite the odds, policies that guarantee paid leave, livable wage and public preschool are a necessity. States that have expanded programs such as Medicaid, family leave or public pre-K may be contributing to the rise in young single mother entering the workforce.
The expansion of public pre-K in the District of Columbia, for example, led to a 13 percentage point increase for single mothers with children under 5-years-old
The report did not discern the rate of single mothers in the workforce by race but it did note that employment increased for single mothers of all races.