Wednesday, June 26th, 2013
The economic well-being of American children has suffered in 2011 during the recession, according to the annual “Kids Count” survey released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Nationwide, the number of children living in homes affected by unemployment has greatly increased, and poverty rates are increasing in middle-class, two-parent households where parents have college degrees. More from The Associated Press:
The Southwest has been hit particularly hard. New Mexico, for the first time, has slipped to worst in the nation when it comes to child well-being. More than 30 percent of children in the state were living in poverty in 2011 and nearly two-fifths had parents who lacked secure employment, according to this year’s Kids Count survey.
Nevada is ranked No. 48, followed by Arizona. Mississippi, which has traditionally held last place, made slight improvements in early childhood education while reading and math proficiency for some students increased, putting the state at No. 49.
Overall, the report shows there have been gains in education and health nationally, but since 2005, there have been serious setbacks when it comes to the economic well-being of children.
‘‘There’s little doubt that things are getting worse,’’ said Kim Posich, executive director of the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty. ‘‘Aside from the fact the New Mexico economy has been so slow to turn around, the systems that generally serve people who are the working poor and suddenly lose their jobs or face greater hardship, all those systems have been strained beyond the max.’’
In Arizona, charities and government programs were cut during the recession, making it more difficult for families to get by and rebuild, said Dana Wolfe Naimark of the Children’s Action Alliance in Phoenix.
‘‘So many things were slashed just when people needed it the most,’’ she said. ‘‘That is a key policy issue that we do have choices over. We can find ways to rebuild that investment. It’s not OK to just throw up our hands and say, ‘We can’t.’’’
According to the Kids Count report, a lingering concern is the effect of unemployment on children, particularly long-term unemployment. Researchers found that more than 4 million workers were unemployed for more than six months, and more than 3 million were without work for a year or more.
Image: Sad child, via Shutterstock
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Friday, August 24th, 2012
A new study suggests that moms who work full time are healthier, both physically and mentally, than mothers who work part time, those who stay home with their kids, or those who are unemployed.
Researcher Adrianne Frech of the University of Akron examined data on more than 2,500 women who had babies between 1978 and 1995. Here’s more from UPI:
The study found women who returned full time to the workforce shortly after having children reported better mental and physical health — specifically, greater mobility, more energy and less depression at age 40.
“Work is good for your health, both mentally and physically,” Frech said in a statement. “It gives women a sense of purpose, self-efficacy, control and autonomy. They have a place where they are an expert on something, and they’re paid a wage.”
But Frech told the New York Times blog Motherlode that her study wasn’t designed to provide additional fuel for the so-called Mommy Wars. “I worry that it’s being misinterpreted as researchers saying that stay-at-home-moms made bad choices,” she said.
The mothers in the study who were the least healthy were those who were “persistently unemployed,” who struggled to find employment even if they wanted to work, UPI said.
“Struggling to hold onto a job or being in constant job search mode wears on their health, especially mentally, but also physically,” Frech said.
Image: Working mom with baby via Shutterstock.
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Friday, August 17th, 2012
Mothers who were laid off during the recession spend longer looking for new jobs than married fathers, according to a new study that was conducted using 2010 data. And when married moms did find new jobs, they experienced a decrease in earnings of $175 more per week compared with married dads. According to a release announcing the study:
The results suggest that the recent recession, dubbed the “man-cession” or “he-cession” because more men than women lost jobs, could also be viewed as a “mom-cession” as laid-off married moms had the hardest time finding new jobs.
“These findings hold true across different backgrounds, such as occupation, earnings, and work history,” said study co-author Brian Serafini, a University of Washington sociology graduate student. “This implies that laid-off moms aren’t just taking part-time jobs or seeing being laid off as a way to opt out of the workforce and embrace motherhood instead.”
Serafini and co-author Michelle Maroto, who will present their findings at the 107th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, said that their study supports the notions of a “motherhood penalty” and a “daddy bonus” in the workplace.
“Our study provides evidence of labor market discrimination against women whose family decisions may signal to employers a lack of commitment to the workplace,” said Maroto, formerly a University of Washington sociology graduate student and now an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Alberta.
Image: Mother and child at home, via Shutterstock
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Friday, May 4th, 2012
Only about 25 percent of 16- to 19-year-olds are currently employed, according to new information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which constitutes a drop of 10 percentage points from just five years ago. MSNBC.com has more:
With summer approaching and the job market showing signs of improvement, teens could have a better shot at getting hired than they have had in years. But it could take many more years for teens to resume working at pre-recession levels.
The April employment report, due out Friday, will offer more clues into how things will look in the coming months.
Part of the issue is that fewer teens either want to work or think they can get a job. The labor force participation rate, which measures both teens who are working and those actively seeking work, also has fallen sharply since 2000.
Image: Teenager at work, via Shutterstock.
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Tuesday, May 1st, 2012
Nearly a third of American fathers with working wives stay at home at least one day each week to care for children, a new analysis of 2010 U.S. census data has found. Twenty percent of fathers with children under age 5 are the primary child caretakers in their family.
CNNMoney has more:
Not only has it become more necessary for men to pitch in at home, but fathers have also become more available to do so. “It’s a combination of mothers going to work and fathers being out of work as a result of the recession,” said Lynda Laughlin, a family demographer at the Census Bureau.
Men were particularly hard hit by the steep job losses during that time, losing 4 million jobs since 2007, while women lost just over 2 million during the same time period, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Image: Father and baby, via Shutterstock.
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