Working moms are primary breadwinners in 40% of households


The Republican view, nowadays

America’s working mothers are now the primary breadwinners in a record 40 percent of households with children — a milestone in the changing face of modern families, up from just 11 percent in 1960.

The findings by the Pew Research Center…highlight the growing influence of “breadwinner moms” who keep their families afloat financially. While most are headed by single mothers, a growing number are families with married mothers who bring in more income than their husbands.

Demographers say the change is all but irreversible and is likely to bring added attention to child-care policies as well as government safety nets for vulnerable families…

While roughly 79 percent of Americans reject the notion that women should return to their traditional roles, only 21 percent of those polled said the trend of more mothers of young children working outside the home is a good thing for society, according to the Pew survey.

Roughly 3 in 4 adults said the increasing number of women working for pay has made it harder for parents to raise children…

The trend is being driven mostly by long-term demographic changes, including higher rates of education and labor force participation dating back to the 1960s women’s movement. Today, more women than men hold bachelor’s degrees, and they make up nearly half — 47 percent — of the American workforce.

But recent changes in the economy, too, have played a part. Big job losses in manufacturing and construction, fields that used to provide high pay to a mostly male workforce, have lifted the relative earnings of married women, even among those in mid-level positions such as teachers, nurses or administrators. The jump in working women has been especially prominent among those who are mothers — from 37 percent in 1968 to 65 percent in 2011 — reflecting in part increases for those who went looking for jobs to lift sagging family income after the recent recession.

Andrew Cherlin, a professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University, said that to his surprise public attitudes toward working mothers have changed very little over the years. He predicts the growing numbers will lead to a growing constituency among women in favor of family-friendly work policies such as paid family leave, as well as safety net policies such as food stamps or child care support for single mothers.

In other words, we’ll start to catch up with the rest of the educated Western industrial world.

Like so many aspects of life in “modern” America, the modernizing part stopped with the introduction of the Cold War, McCarthyism, collaboration by compliant labor union leaders and liberal politicians alike – maintaining the TweedleDeeDumb party twins as the only choices in federal government.

Meanwhile, Fox Noise fell apart after Megyn Kelly attacked her peers – like Lou Dobbs – for offering a sexist analysis, convinced this change describes the end of American families and the natural leadership of men. WTF?

Bank of America is “long” on women

Women’s earnings will recover faster than men’s as the U.S. economy rebounds, which means companies that market to females may perform well, according to a Bank of America Corp. research note to clients…

Women will rebound from the U.S. recession before men because females didn’t lose as many jobs as males did during the recession, the report said. Some of the industries most affected by the economy, such as manufacturing and construction, had more male than female workers. The unemployment rate for women, 8.9 percent, compared with 10.6 percent for men, is the widest it’s ever been, the report said…

Females make up the majority of the workforce in 9 of the 10 occupations that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts will add the most jobs over the next 8 years, the note said…

More women are also graduating from college, with more than 50 percent of the bachelor’s degrees in the last decade awarded to women, according to the report. Additional education generally means higher earnings, Harris said.

There’s still a gender wage gap because of discrimination and interrupted work lives for children, according to Harris. Women working at least 35 hours a week in the first quarter of 2010 received 79 percent of the wages earned by men, according to the Labor Department.

The gap is narrowing, with the real median income for women rising at about a 1 percent annualized rate compared with contraction of 1.5 percent for men over the past five years, the note said.

Overdue.