Trends in the Well-Being of America's Children and Youth, 1997. ES 3.4 Secure parental labor force attachment

04/01/1997

Parents' full-time employment over the course of an entire year indicates a secure attachment to the labor force and produces a degree of financial security for their children. As shown in Table ES 3.4, the percentage of children in families with at least one securely attached parent increased from 69 percent to 74 percent over the parental attachment to the labor force by racial and ethnic groups, poverty status, age of children, and family structure.

Differences by Race and Ethnicity. The parents of children in white families consistently have the highest rates of secure attachment to the labor force. Throughout the entire 1984-1995 period, more than 70 percent of white children had at least one parent with a secure labor force attachment. In 1995, the rate for white children was 78 percent (see Figure ES 3.4). In contrast only about half of black children and about 60 percent of Hispanic children lived in families with at least one parent who was securely attached to the labor force. In 1995 the rate for black children was 53 percent, and the rate for Hispanic children was 61 percent.

Differences by Poverty Status. Secure parental labor force attachment is associated with escaping poverty (see Figure ES 3.4). In 1995, only 25 percent of poor families with children had at least one parent with a secure labor force attachment while 86 percent of nonpoor families had at least one securely attached parent. The percentage of poor families with at least one parent securely attached to the labor force has increased over the period from 20 percent in 1984 to 25 percent in 1995.

Differences by Age of Children. Secure parental labor force attachment is more common among families with older children. In 1995, 78 percent of families with children ages 12 through 17 had at least one parent who was securely attached to the labor force, compared to 69 percent of families with children younger than age six (see Figure ES 3.4).

Differences by Family Structure. Married-couple families are far more likely than other family types to have at least one parent securely attached to the labor force. In 1995, 87 percent of married-couple families had at least one securely attached parent. In contract, only 38 percent of the single-mother families and 67 percent of the single-father families had a securely attached parent (see Figure ES 3.4).
 

Figure ES 3.4  
Secure Parental Labor Force Attachment: Percentage of Children Under Age 18 with At Least One Fully Employed (full-time, full-year) Resident Parent: 1995 

FIGES3_4.GIF
Source: 1995 statistics calculated by the U.S. Bureau of the Census based on the 1985 and 1996 Current Population Surveys. 

 

Table ES 3.4  
Secure Parental Labor Force Attachment: Percentage of Children with At Least One Fully Employed (full-time, full-year) Resident Parent in the Labor Force, 1984-1995

   
1984 
1989 
1993 
1994 
1995 
   
______ 
______ 
______ 
_______ 
_______ 
Total
69 
73 
71 
73 
74 
Race/Ethnicity
  White
73 
78 
76 
77 
78 
  Black
48 
51 
49 
52 
53 
  Hispanic
58 
62 
57 
59 
61 
Poverty Status
  Poor
20 
22 
21 
24 
25 
  Nonpoor
83 
85 
85 
86 
86 
Child's Age
  < age 6
65 
69 
67 
68 
69 
  11-Jun
70 
74 
72 
73 
75 
  17-Dec
73 
78 
75 
76 
78 
Family Structure
  Married-couple
80 
85 
85 
86 
87 
  Single-mother
32 
34 
33 
35 
38 
  Single-father
61 
64 
61 
60 
67 
 
Source: 1984 - 1994 statistics calculated by Child Trends, Inc., based on analyses of the March 1985, 1994 and 1995 Current Population Surveys. 1995 statistics calculated by U.S. Bureau of the Census based on analyses of the March 1996 Current Population Survey.
 
 

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