Secure Parental Employment
Secure parental employment reduces the incidence of poverty and its attendant risks to children. Secure parental employment is associated with higher family income and greater access to private health insurance.37 By reducing stress and other negative effects that low levels of family income have on parents, secure parental employment may also enhance children's social and emotional development and improve family functioning.38 One measure of secure parental employment is the percentage of children whose resident parent or parents were employed full time during a given year.
Indicator Econ2: Percentage of children ages 0–17 living with at least one parent employed year round, full time by family structure, 1980–2009
- The percentage of children who had at least one parent working year round, full time was 72 percent in 2009, down from 75 percent in 2008. This was the lowest percentage since 1994.
- In 2009, 83 percent of children living in families maintained by two married parents had at least one parent who worked year round, full time. In contrast, 54 percent of children living in families maintained by a single father and 44 percent of children living in families maintained by a single mother had a parent who worked year round, full time.
- Among all children living with parents, those living in poverty were much less likely to have a parent working year round, full time than those living at or above the poverty line (26 percent and 83 percent, respectively, in 2009). In 2009, 44 percent of children living in families maintained by two married parents who were living below the poverty line had at least one parent working year round, full time, compared with 88 percent of children living at or above the poverty line.
- Black, non-Hispanic children and Hispanic children were less likely than White, non-Hispanic children to have a parent working year round, full time. About 62 percent of Hispanic children and 58 percent of Black, non-Hispanic children lived in families with secure parental employment in 2009, compared with 79 percent of White, non-Hispanic children.
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