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Report: More moms contributing to family income, but public policy still lagging


While most mothers today make major contributions to their household budgets, our workplace culture and public policy landscape have yet to catch up to this reality, according to a new analysis of data released by the left-leaning think tank Center for American Progress.

The analysis shows that the family structure around which most public and workplace policies are designed — a heterosexual couple with a husband breadwinner and a stay-at-home mom — is increasingly rare, Marketwatch reported. The share of mothers who are breadwinners or co-breadwinners more than doubled between 1967 and 2017, CAP found.

Roughly 64% of mothers bring home at least 25% of their family’s income, according to an analysis. About 41% of mothers are the sole or primary breadwinner for their families, and roughly 23% are what CAP calls co-breadwinners, meaning they earn between 25% and 49% of their family’s income.

Roughly 84% of black mothers were the primary or co-breadwinners for their families, compared with roughly 60% of Latina mothers and 62% of white mothers. In addition, low-income mothers are more likely to be the primary breadwinners for their families than their higher-income peers. 

What the numbers reflect, according to report authors, is that members of families are working because they have to, and workplace and public policy hasn’t caught up to make this reality easier to navigate. Policies like guaranteeing paid family leave, paid sick days and access to some kind of workplace flexibility would help mothers who are working and raising their families at the same time.

Read the full report online.

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