parents work when they have young children, according to
data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). But not
all parents do.
The charts show the number of women and men
in 2006 who worked—or didn’t work—when their children
were under 6 years of age and living with them. Women were
much less likely than men to work if they had infants or
toddlers at home. And about 28 percent of employed women
worked part-time during their children’s early years.
Although not shown on the chart, the number of dads who didn’t
work was slightly higher if they had older children.
Of parents who were not employed, most were
not seeking work. But some were actively looking for jobs
and were thus counted as unemployed.
For many parents, how long they remain in
the labor force while their children are young depends on
whether they have flexible work schedules. To learn about
arranging for flexible work, see "Flexible work:
Adjusting the when and where of your job," by Elka
Maria Torpey, elsewhere in this issue of the Quarterly.
Data in the chart come from the Current Population
Survey. For more information about parents and work, write
to BLS, Division of Labor Force Statistics,
Suite 4675, 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE., Washington, D.C.
20212; call (202) 691-6378; or see the BLS news release
online at www.bls.gov/news.release/famee.nr0.htm.