Keeping Moms on the Job
Since welfare reform legislation was enacted in 1996, government support for low-income families have emphasized "work-first" strategies, viewing employment as the primary route to self-sufficiency. But according to a new report from the Institute for Women's Policy Research, sustaining employment and earning a living wage remain significant challenges for many single mothers facing the dual responsibilities of work and family. Funded in part by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the report, Keeping Moms on the Job (81 pages, PDF), found that only 23 percent of low-income mothers remained in the same job during the three-year period examined, compared with 41 percent of higher-income mothers. The report also found that mothers' education levels and responsibilities related to child care were found to be critical barriers to their returning to the labor force.