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April 1997

The work schedules of low-educated American women and welfare reform

Harriet B. Presser, Amy G. Cox

In light of the 1996 Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, researchers and policymakers are unclear about its impact on various demographic groups. This article examines the work schedules of low-educated employed mothers in the United States. It focuses on potential problems that need to be considered when one assesses the feasibility of welfare reform. It shows that low-educated employed mothers have a higher prevalence of working nonstandard hours and days, nonfixed daytime schedules, and weekends than do their more educated counterparts. Thus, welfare reform will have to consider improving the fit between the availability of child care and these working mothers? schedules.

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