1. In Florida, Women Are Poorer Today Than 12 Years Ago
By Brenda Medina | Miami Herald | 12.28.16
“In Florida, women are poorer and have less access to healthcare and development opportunities than most states in the country, according to a recent poverty report. The number of women 18 and older in Florida living below the poverty line is 15.4 percent (compared to men, which is 12.2 percent), according to the study, ‘The Status of Women in Florida by County: Poverty & Opportunity,’ by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. In 2004, the percentage of women below the poverty line was 12.6.”
Citing The Status of Women in Florida by County: Poverty & Opportunity, by Julie Anderson, M.A. and Cynthia Hess, Ph.D, Institute for Women’s Policy Research
2. What Keeps Women Out of Career Programs — and What Will Make Them Stay
By Johnny Magdaleno | NextCity | 12.19.16
“If you’re a mother of two and working a part-time job, finding the time to train for a better-paying, more demanding career can seem near impossible. But career training programs throughout the country are beginning to understand that offering support services that help women and families, like child care and emergency cash assistance, will help them graduate more people. That’s according to a new study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, which interviewed 168 workforce program administrators in 41 states and the District of Columbia. Most of these participants said issues like child care, financial restraints and even mental health issues contribute to keeping students from getting certificates.”
Citing: Supportive Services in Workforce Development Programs: Administrator Perspectives on Availability and Unmet Needs, by Cynthia Hess, Ph.D., Emma Williams-Baron, Barbara Gault, Ph.D., and Ariane Hegewisch, M.Phil., Institute for Women’s Policy Research
3. Study Reveals Women Will Be Hurt Most by the Rise of Automation
By James Farrell | Silicon Angle | 1.4.17
“Women stand to fare far worse than men in the transition to an automated future, according to a new World Economic Forum report. The report stands in stark contrast to recent proclamations by government and industry that automation will be a net positive for most people. The White House recently issued a report on automation telling us all to remain sangfroid. Tesla Motors Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk painted an even rosier picture of a leisurely post-automation life. Not least, those actually building the bots to replace humans have also offered a rather positive outlook.”
Citing: Gender Parity and Human Capital, by The World Economic Forum
4. This Is Exactly How Much Money You’re Losing If You Have Young Kids
By Emily Peck | The Huffington Post | 12.28.16
“Having a child under the age of 5 is hard enough, but in the United States, parenting comes with the added bonus of near-financial ruin. If we don’t do something about this, the economic consequences for the country are not going to be pretty. Parents of young kids see their income fall by an average of 14 percent compared to those without children, according to a study released last week by liberal think-tank Demos, which looked at 2015 Census data. In two-parent households, that amounts to a loss of $14,850. For single mothers, it’s worse: $16,610.”
Citing: The Parent Trap: The Economic Insecurity of Families with Young Children, by Amy Traub, Robert Hiltonsmith, and Tamara Draut, Demos
5. White House Report Focuses on Challenges Faced by Women and Girls of Color
By Gabrielle Levy | U.S. News and World Report | 12.16.16
“[The White House Council on Women and Girls] released its third annual report – “Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color” – detailing the unique challenges women and girls of color face in school and in the workforce, part of a targeted effort to address the structural disadvantages that keep them persistently behind their white and male peers. The report, and the multi-year initiative, focused on five objectives: reducing teen pregnancy; encouraging success in school; making science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM – education more inclusive; opening avenues to economic prosperity; and reducing the risk factors for vulnerable girls.”
Citing: Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color: 2016 Updated Report, by The White House Council on Women and Girls
6. Abortion Is Found to Have Little Effect on Women’s Mental Health
By Pam Belluck | New York Times | 12.14.16
“It’s an idea that has long been used as an argument against abortion — that terminating a pregnancy causes women to experience emotional and psychological trauma. Some states require women seeking abortions to be counseled that they might develop mental health problems. Now a new study, considered to be the most rigorous to look at the question in the United States, undermines that claim. Researchers followed nearly 1,000 women who sought abortions nationwide for five years and found that those who had the procedure did not experience more depression, anxiety, low self-esteem or dissatisfaction with life than those who were denied it.”
Citing: Women’s Mental Health and Well-being 5 Years After Receiving or Being Denied an Abortion: A Prospective, Longitudinal Cohort Study, by M. Antonia Biggs, PhD; Ushma D. Upadhyay, PhD, MPH; Charles E. McCulloch, PhD; et al, JAMA Psychiatry
In addition, we’ve added some of the latest research coming out on mothers, access to child care, and the safety net.
NEW RESEARCH REPORTS
More Than a Million Millennials are Becoming Moms Each Year
By Gretchen Livingston | Pew Research Center | January 2017
All told, Millennial women (those born from 1981 to 1997) accounted for about eight-in-ten (82 percent) U.S. births in 2015. At the same time, Millennials make up 31 percent of the adult U.S. population, and just over a third (34 percent) of the U.S. workforce. While they now account for the vast majority of annual U.S. births, Millennial women are waiting longer to become parents than prior generations did. Among Millennial women ages 18 to 33 in 2014, for instance, 42 percent were moms. But when women from Generation X – those born between 1965 and 1980 – were in the same age range, 49 percent were already moms, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey data. (The rising age at first birth is hardly limited to the Millennial generation. It has been a trend since at least 1970. Many factors may contribute, including a shift away from marriage, increasing educational attainment and the movement of women into the labor force.)
State(s) of Head Start
By W. Steven Barnett Ph.D. and Allison H. Friedman-Krauss, Ph.D | National Institute for Early Education Research | December 2016
State(s) of Head Start is the first report to describe and analyze in detail Head Start enrollment, funding, quality, and duration, state-by-state. The report focuses on the 2014-2015 program year but also provides longitudinal data beginning with the 2006-2007 program year. Despite the fact that Head Start is a federally funded, national program, the report reveals that access to Head Start programs, funding per child, teacher education, quality of teaching, and duration of services all vary widely by state. This report’s findings underscore the need for greater coordination between Head Start and state and local government agencies to build high-quality early learning programs with widespread reach and adequate funding. The authors call for an independent bipartisan national commission to study the issues raised in this report and develop an action plan to ensure every eligible child in every state has an equal opportunity to benefit from Head Start.
A Closer Look at Latino Access to Child Care Subsidies
By Christina Walker and Stephanie Schmit | Center for Law and Social Policy | December 2016
A recent CLASP analysis found that access to child care subsidies is sharply limited for all eligible children, but even more so for particular racial and ethnic groups and in particular states. A striking finding is that eligible Latino children have very limited access to CCDBG-funded child care assistance. While 13 percent of all eligible children (ages 0-13, regardless of race/ethnicity) and 21 percent of eligible Black children receive child care assistance through CCDBG, only 8 percent of eligible Latino children get help. Access is even lower in many states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Oregon, South Carolina, and Tennessee (see Appendix).This brief looks more deeply into the data on Latino children and offers potential policy solutions to improve access to child care assistance. CLASP’s “Disparate Access” work is intended to promote understanding of racial and ethnic differences in access to child care and early education and explore and uncover the reasons for such differences. This report is a companion piece to CLASP’s original report, Disparate Access: Head Start and CCDBG Data by Race and Ethnicity.
A New Safety Net for an Era of Unstable Earnings
By Andrew Stettner, Michael Cassidy and George Wentworth | The Century Foundation | December 2016
Economic insecurity has been a hallmark of working families’ lives in the twenty-first century. Memories of the Great Recession—when unemployment reached its highest level in generations—are still fresh in the American consciousness. Workers who are laid off experience longer durations of unemployment than in previous economic eras, and even when they find work, they struggle to get back to their prior wage. Americans from all walks of life feel they can no longer count on steady forty-hour-per-week jobs. Workers in low-wage service industries can have their schedule changed on a weekly or even daily basis. There is rising national awareness of the independent workforce of freelancers and the contingent workforce of on-call and on-demand workers, including an increasing number working in the so-called “gig economy.” While these workers may gain flexibility, it comes at the price of economic stability.
Breadwinning Mothers Are Increasingly the U.S. Norm
By Sarah Jane Glynn | Center for American Progress | December 2016
The Center for American Progress first described the role of working mothers as breadwinners in 2009 with The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything, in a chapter titled “The New Breadwinners.”1 Authored by former CAP economist Heather Boushey, “The New Breadwinners” was among the first pieces of research to quantify the ways that women’s labor force participation has increased since the 1960s and what that means for families’ incomes. This report updates Boushey’s original analysis of breadwinning and co-breadwinning mothers and a 2014 follow-up report from CAP—“Breadwinning Mothers, Then and Now”—using the most recent data available. While this newest report revises the original analysis, it also provides new analyses looking at differences in breadwinning and co-breadwinning based on race and place. Specifically, it dives deeper into differences between black and white mothers in the frequency with which they combine paid employment with family caregiving and the different ways that they contribute to their families’ bottom lines. Most notably, the report highlights differences in the rates of breadwinning and co-breadwinning among different racial and ethnic groups. It also explores how rates of breadwinning differ across the United States, looking at differences between states and between rural and metropolitan areas.