Married mothers of infants and labor force participation

April 25, 2007

In recent years, the labor force participation of married mothers, especially those with young children, has stopped its advance.

Labor force participation rates of married mothers of infants, 1994-2005
[Chart data—TXT]

Married mothers with children under a year old (infants) showed the most dramatic changes. After reaching a peak of 59.2 percent in 1997, the participation rate for married mothers of infants fell by about 6 percentage points to 53.3 percent in 2000 and has shown no clear trend since then.

In comparison, the participation rate of married mothers of school-age children (aged 6 to 17) fell by just 2 percentage points, from 77 percent in 1997 to about 75 percent in 2005.

Data for the labor force participation of married mothers are from the Current Population Survey. Find more on this topic in "Trends in labor force participation of married mothers of infants," by Sharon R. Cohany and Emy Sok, Monthly Labor Review, February 2007.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Married mothers of infants and labor force participation on the Internet at (visited September 28, 2016).


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