Labor force participation among young moms and dads

September 29, 2014

Among women born between 1980 and 1984, labor force participation of new mothers ages 18 to 24 was greater than that of new mothers born between 1957 and 1964. While labor force participation of new mothers was less than that of women without children in both cohorts, the differential was greater for new mothers born between 1957 and 1964.

 

Percentage of year in labor force (employed or unemployed), by age and parental status, 1979 and 1997 cohorts
Age 1979 cohort 1997 cohort
New fathers Men
without children
New mothers Women
without children
New fathers Men
without children
New mothers Women
without children

18

83.8% 69.8% 33.2% 67.6% 77.2% 66.5% 49.8% 68.7%

19

88.1 74.4 38.7 73.7 82.2 74.7 54.7 74.9

20

90.8 76.5 39.4 76.8 84.4 76.8 58.8 77.5

21

90.1 80.1 50.6 82.5 85.9 80.2 59.9 81.5

22

90.7 84.9 50.2 87.4 89.5 83.6 63.4 86.9

23

94.0 89.4 54.8 89.4 89.3 86.9 61.3 87.9

24

92.5 91.0 58.5 90.4 94.1 88.7 65.2 88.5

Among women born between 1957 and 1964, new mothers at the age of 18 participated in the labor force about 33 percent of the year, compared with 67 percent for 18-year-old women without children.  In contrast, 18-year-old mothers born between 1980 and 1984 participated in the labor force about 50 percent of the year, compared to almost 69 percent of women without children.

Among men born between 1957 and 1964, new fathers at the age of 18 participated in the labor force 84 percent of the year, compared with almost 70 percent for men without children. Among men born between 1980 and 1984, labor force participation was 77 percent for new fathers and almost 67 percent for men without children.

Among men and women born between 1957 and 1964, 18-year-old new mothers participated in the labor force 33 percent of the year, compared to almost 84 percent for new fathers. The gap narrowed for men and women born between 1980 and 1984, as new mothers participated in the labor force 50 percent of  the year, compared with 77 percent for new fathers.

These data are from the National Longitudinal Surveys program. Data used are from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97), a nationally representative sample of 8,984 men and women born from 1980 to 1984 and living in the United States at the time of the initial survey, and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79), a nationally representative sample of 12,686 men and women born from 1957 to 1964 and living in the United States at the time of the initial survey. To learn more, see “How has labor force participation among youth moms and dads changed? A comparison of two cohorts,” (HTML) (PDF), by Judith Dey in Beyond the Numbers, September 2014. 

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Labor force participation among young moms and dads on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20140929.htm (visited May 25, 2017).

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