As the economy slowly recovers, IWPR survey data show that a large proportion of young mothers—especially young Black and single mothers—remain economically insecure despite high levels of employment.

Research highlights:

  • A large majority of young mothers (74.3 percent) reported being employed—and most of them full-time—in June 2021 as the economy started to rebound from the pandemic recession. Nearly one in five (17.7 percent) young mothers reported not working for pay due to caregiving responsibilities, compared with only 1.9 percent of other young women.

  • Despite high levels of employment, at least half of young mothers with children under age 13 worry daily or frequently about not being able to pay their bills. Among young Black mothers and young single mothers, the share reaches 73.5 percent and 75.1 percent, respectively.

  • Access to homeownership is deeply unequal. Just over one-third of young Black (34.2 percent) and young single mothers (38.1 percent) own their home with a mortgage or loan or outright, compared with six in ten young White (61.4 percent) and Latina (59.6 percent) mothers.

This brief was made possible by the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company created by Melinda French Gates.