Stay-at-home mom more popular job nowadays

By Jenna Iacurci, Parent Herald April 14, 03:51 pm

More moms are opting to stay at home rather than enter the workforce, a new study suggests.

The number of women staying home with children under 18 years of age rose from 23 percent in 1999 to 29 percent in 2012, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data.

When we think of stay-at-home moms, we often think of women choosing to take care of their families and maintain their household. But this category also includes those who are unemployed, disabled or enrolled in school. In 2000, 1 percent of stay-at-home mothers said they were home because they couldn't find a job. In 2012, that rate had jumped to 6 percent.

However, women with working husbands made up two-thirds of the nation's 10.4 million stay-at-home mothers in 2012, the report said.

The authors contribute the rising trend to demographic, economic and societal factors, including rising immigration as well as a drop in women's labor force participation.

"For a variety of reasons - from a tough job market to changing demographics - we're seeing an uptick in the share of mothers who are staying at home," D'Vera Cohn, one of the report's authors, told the Los Angeles Times.

About 40 percent of immigrant mothers stay home to raise their children, compared with 26 percent of mothers who were born in the United States. The surge of home-bound mothers is also driven in part by the desire to focus on children and by the tough economic times.

One-third of stay-at-home mothers live in poverty, compared with 12 percent of their counterparts who work outside the home.

"Stay-at-home mothers are a diverse group," Cohn said. "They are younger and less educated than their working counterparts, and more likely to be living in poverty. Many are staying at home to care for family, but some are home because they can't find jobs, are enrolled in school or are ill or disabled."

Currently, 28 percent of American children are being raised by a stay-at-home mother, versus 24 percent in 2000, Pew stated.

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