Labor force participation rate of mothers, 1975-2007

January 08, 2009

From March 1975 to March 2000, the labor force participation rate of mothers with children under age 18 rose from 47 percent to a peak of 73 percent.

Labor force participation rate of women by age of youngest child, March 1975-2007
[Chart data—TXT]

By 2004, the rate for these mothers had receded to 71 percent, where it remained through 2007.

In general, mothers with older children (6 to 17 years of age, none younger) are more likely to participate in the labor force than mothers with younger children (under 6 years of age).

These data are from the Current Population Survey and were collected in the March CPS. To find out more, see BLS Report 1011, Women in the Labor Force: A Databook (2008 Edition).


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Labor force participation rate of mothers, 1975-2007 on the Internet at (visited July 20, 2017).


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