April 22, 2004
The labor force participation rate for mothers of infants fell by 2.4 percentage points to 53.7 percent in 2003. This rate has fallen almost every year since 1998, when it was 57.9 percent.
For married mothers with infants, the participation rate continued its downward trend, falling by 1.8 percentage points in 2003 to 52.9 percent. The participation rate for unmarried mothers with infants fell by 4.7 percentage points to 56.2 percent.
These data on the labor force participation of mothers are produced by the Current Population Survey. "Infants" refers to children under 1 year. "Unmarried mothers" include never-married, divorced, separated, and widowed mothers. More information can be found in "Employment Characteristics of Families in 2003" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 04-719.