The Institute for Women’s Policy Research released today a fact sheet showing both a high rate of unemployment among single mothers and substantial growth in their rate of unemployment since April. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released this morning, women who maintain families without a spouse present have an unemployment rate of 12.2 percent. This is almost twice the rate for married men or women, and significantly higher than the rate of unemployment of 10.2 percent for all men and 8.9 percent for all women (all data are not seasonally adjusted because seasonally adjusted data are not available for women who maintain families).
The fact sheet concludes suggesting that a number of changes in policy and practice are needed to improve women’s earnings and the ability to combine work and family in the United States. These include:

  • Increasing the availability of subsidized child care and family-friendly work arrangements, such as paid family leave, paid sick days, and flexibility in work schedules to allow workers to meet their family responsibilities.
  • Improving educational and job training opportunities for women to enter highly paid jobs, including those currently dominated by men.
  • Stepping up enforcement of equal pay and equal employment opportunity laws, including the active prevention of sexual harassment, to reduce discrimination in the workplace.
  • Protecting women’s rights on the job, including the right to organize, since the gender wage gap is smaller among unionized workers than non-unionized workers.

Click here to view the full fact sheet, “Unemployment Among Single Mother Families.”