The percentage of American mothers in the workforce has hit an all-time high, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released last week.
Of the 3.7 million women who had children younger than age 1 in 1998, 59 percent were working outside the home, almost double the proportion in 1976.
Of the more than 31 million mothers who had children older than 1, 73 percent were working full time, working part time, or were currently unemployed.
Families with children in which both the father and the mother are working now represent a majority—51 percent—of all two-parent families in the United States.
The rising percentage of mothers in the workforce is one reason why child care has become such a major policy issue, the authors of the report conclude.
Titled “Fertility of American Women: June 1998,” the study is based on the bureau’s monthly Current Population Survey.
The report is available online at www.census.gov. LINDA JACOBSON