Labor force participation rates among mothers
May 07, 2010
Labor force participation among women with children is significantly higher today than it was in the 1970s.
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. By 2004, the participation rate for mothers had receded to 71 percent, where it remained through 2008.
In general, mothers with older children (6 to 17 years of age) are more likely to participate in the labor force than mothers with younger children (under 6 years of age). In 2008, 77.5 percent of mothers with older children were in the labor force, compared with 63.6 percent of mothers with younger children.
Unmarried mothers have higher participation rates than married mothers. In 2008, 76 percent of unmarried mothers were in the labor force, compared with 69 percent of married mothers.
These data are from Current Population Survey. To learn more, see, "Women in the Labor Force: A Databook (2009 Edition)," Report 1018, September 2009. The labor force participation rate is the share of the population 16 years and older working or seeking work.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Labor force participation rates among mothers on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2010/ted_20100507.htm (visited March 18, 2018).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
African Americans in the U.S. Labor Force
A look at employment and unemployment trends of African Americans from 1972 to 2016 and projected to 2026.
Industry on Tap: Breweries
A look at employment, wages, and job safety in breweries and producer prices for beer.
Differences in Parents’ Time Use between the Summer and the School Year
A look at how parents of school-age children spend their time in the summer and the school year.
Hispanics in the United States: Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month
A look at employment, earnings, consumer spending, time use, and workplace injuries and illnesses for the Hispanic or Latino U.S. population.