Apr 8, 2014 1:55 pm

Rising cost of child care may help explain recent increase in stay-at-home moms

ChildcareCosts_ChartA greater share of mothers are not working outside the home than at any time in the past two decades, according to a new Pew Research Center report. After declining for several decades — bottoming out at 23% around the turn of the century — the share of stay-at-home mothers has risen in fits and starts over the past decade and a half, to 29% in 2012, according to the Pew Research analysis of census data.

While there are many reasons driving this trend, one likely reason is the rising cost of child care. A 2010 Census paper (which focused on married stay-at-home mothers) commented that “[e]specially for mothers who have more than one child under 5, the cost of day care might be higher than she could support unless she has fairly high earnings.”

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Topics: Family Roles, Household and Family Structure, Parenthood, Work and Employment

Apr 8, 2014 11:23 am

Data Feed: A decade of campaign ads, gender gaps on wages and jobs, outlook for global growth

A daily roundup of fresh data from scholars, governments, think tanks, pollsters and other social science researchers.  Read More

Category: Data Feed

Apr 8, 2014 10:30 am

7 key findings about stay-at-home moms

1More moms are staying home: The share of mothers who do not work outside the home has risen over the past decade, reversing a long-term decline in stay-at-home mothers. (In the U.S. today, 71% of all mothers work outside the home.) Two-thirds are “traditional” married stay-at-home mothers with working husbands, but a growing share is unmarried.

share of stay at home moms over time

2Americans say a parent at home is best: Despite the fact that most mothers in the U.S. work at least part time, 60% of Americans say children are better off when a parent stays home to focus on the family, while 35% say they are just as well off when both parents work outside the home.

americans say a parent at home is best

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Topics: Family Roles, Household and Family Structure, Parenthood, Work and Employment

Apr 8, 2014 7:00 am

On Equal Pay Day, key facts about the gender pay gap

Today marks “Equal Pay Day,” the date that symbolizes how far into the new year the average American woman would have to work to earn what the average American man did in the previous year. With a new executive order issued today, President Obama and Democrats are hoping to peg the gender wage gap as a major issue ahead of the 2014 elections. This week, Senate Democrats also plan to again bring forward the proposed “Paycheck Fairness Act,” a bill that aims to eliminate the pay gap between female and male employees.

Both men and women see a need for moves such as this – 72% of women and 61% of men said “this country needs to continue making changes to give men and women equality in the workplace,” according to a Pew Research Center survey last fall. Read More

Topics: Gender, Work and Employment

Apr 7, 2014 11:22 am

Data Feed: Democrats and inequality, remittances from migrant women, gasoline taxes, India’s big election

A daily roundup of fresh data from scholars, governments, think tanks, pollsters and other social science researchers.  Read More

Category: Data Feed

Apr 7, 2014 10:36 am

6 facts about marijuana

A new Pew Research Center survey found a broad shift in the public’s views on the nation’s drug policies, with many in favor of shifting the focus of government efforts from prosecution to treatment for use of illicit drugs. The survey also attracted much attention for its findings on attitudes about legalizing marijuana and views of its use. Here are six key facts on public opinion about marijuana:

Growing support for marijuana legalization1Support for marijuana legalization continues to grow. A 54% majority of Americans say the drug should be made legal, compared with 42% who want it to be illegal. Opinions have changed drastically since 1969, when Gallup first asked the question and just 12% favored legalization. Much of the change in opinion has occurred over the past few years — support has risen 13 points since 2010. Separately, 76% in our new survey say people convicted of minor possession should not serve time in jail. Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Domestic Affairs and Policy, Drugs

Apr 4, 2014 3:17 pm

WashPost/Kaiser: Many Iraq and Afghanistan veterans bring home the burdens of war

The deadly shootings on Wednesday at Fort Hood, Texas, were allegedly the act of an Iraqi war veteran who had been under evaluation for post-traumatic stress disorder and was being treated for anxiety and depression, according to the Army. But military officials stressed that the shooter, Specialist Ivan Antonio Lopez, had not seen combat during a relatively short tour in Iraq in 2011, and there are reports of other factors that may have been in play, including a dispute with superiors over a request for leave.

The horrific nature of mass shootings, which are rare and account for a very small share of all homicides, always rivet public attention. But because this one occurred on a military base, it drew attention again to concerns about the extent to how the military copes with soldiers experiencing mental and emotional problems, particularly when it comes to veterans returning from the post-9/11 wars. Read More

Topics: Military and Veterans, Wars and International Conflicts

Apr 4, 2014 1:49 pm

Chart of the week: Still deep in the jobs hole

Chart showing how long it will take to return to pre-recession employment levels at different rates of job growth

Today’s employment report indicated that the U.S. economy added 192,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in March, slightly below the revised gain for February and a bit below Wall Street expectations. That essentially continues the pattern in place since late 2010: steady, decent job growth but only enough to chip away at the yawning jobs hole opened by the Great Recession. Even now, there are still 437,000 fewer payroll jobs than there were in January 2008.

But that metric understates the jobs gap, as illustrated in the above chart from the Hamilton Project, an economic policy initiative of the Brookings Institution. (Clicking the chart will take you to an interactive graphic.) Because more people are entering the labor force each month, merely replacing all the jobs lost during the recession won’t bring employment back to its pre-crisis level.

Under the most optimistic scenario — the economy adds 472,000 jobs a month, the highest single-month rate in the 2000s — it would still take until October 2015 for employment to regain its pre-recession level. If the economy replicates its performance in 2005 (the best year since 2000) and adds about 208,000 jobs a month, it would take until September 2018. And if the economy continues to add jobs at the rate it has since late 2010 — an average of 182,000 a month — the employment gap won’t be closed till August 2019.

Category: Chart of the Week

Topics: National Economy, Work and Employment

Apr 4, 2014 11:00 am

Data Feed: 192,000 new jobs, veterans’ mental health, ‘bright flight’ from cities

A daily roundup of fresh data from scholars, governments, think tanks, pollsters and other social science researchers.  Read More

Category: Data Feed

Apr 4, 2014 10:00 am

U.S. doesn’t rank high in religious diversity

The United States has often been described as a religiously diverse country, an image celebrated in forums ranging from scholarly work to a popular bumper sticker and even a recent Coca-Cola commercial during the Super Bowl. But, from a global perspective, the United States really is not all that religiously diverse, according to a new Pew Research Center study. In fact, 95% of the U.S. population is either Christian or religiously unaffiliated, while all other religions combined account for just 5% of Americans. As a result, the U.S. ranks 68th out of 232 countries and territories on our Religious Diversity Index. Read More

Topics: Religion and Society, Religious Affiliation, Religious Beliefs and Practices, Religiously Unaffiliated