Wednesday, May 30, is Moms Equal Pay Day 2018, which symbolizes the day that mothers have to work until they earn as much as fathers earned last year. According to the American Community Survey data from the Census Bureau, moms earn 71 cents compared to dads’ dollar. Want to know even more about how the pay gap affects moms and their families? Here are five facts to inform your conversations on Moms Equal Pay Day:
1. Moms’ earnings are critical to the economic security of American families.
In the United States, half of households with children under 18 have a breadwinner mother, defined as either a single mother who heads a household regardless of income, or a married mother who makes at least 40 percent of a couple’s income. Women’s earnings are especially crucial to the economic security of women of color and their families: eight out of 10 (80.6 percent) Black mothers are breadwinners.
2. With equal pay, working married mothers would earn, on average, an additional $6,329 each year, and working single mothers would earn $7,315 more each year.
There are 16.8 million working married mothers in the United States, and they and their families would have had an additional $106.2 billion if they were paid the same as comparable men. The families of the country’s one million working single mothers would have gained a total of $52 billion, cutting the persistently high poverty rates among single mothers by nearly half.
3. Equal pay would lift 2.5 million children with working mothers out of poverty.
Nearly 26 million children in the United States would benefit from their mothers’ increased earnings with equal pay. Of the 5.6 million children whose families live in poverty, 2.5 million would be brought out of poverty if women received equal pay, cutting the poverty rate for children with a working mother by nearly half.
4. A national paid leave policy could help young working mothers, a group least likely to have access to leave.
About half (50.5 percent) of young mothers (age 18-34) are not eligible for unpaid, job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, a lower eligibility rate than non-mothers. Research indicates that paid leave helps women stay in the labor force and reduces turnover for employers: first-time mothers who utilized paid leave were 26 percent less likely to quit their jobs and were 18 percent more likely to work for the same employer after the birth of their first child.
5. Single mothers in college face intense time demands and financial challenges to completing a degree.
Women with bachelor’s degrees who earn postsecondary credentials have much higher lifetime earnings than those with less education. Although the number of single mothers in college has doubled in the last decade, just under one in three complete their degree due to financial and time challenges. New research suggests that access to on-campus child care may triple graduation rates among single moms.