Center for American Progress

RELEASE: New Report Finds Mothers With Part-Time Jobs Do More Labor Than Fathers With Full-Time Jobs
Press Release

RELEASE: New Report Finds Mothers With Part-Time Jobs Do More Labor Than Fathers With Full-Time Jobs

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress released a new analysis of working parents’ time use. This analysis is different from other analyses of parents’ time use, because it specifically focuses on working parents with young children—as this cohort tends to spend a greater amount of time fulfilling parental caregiving responsibilities. The analysis also looks explicitly at parents’ time use on days when they are on the job, excluding days when a parent has no so-called first shift of paid labor.

The report’s findings include:

  • Mothers with part-time jobs do more combined labor—both paid at work and unpaid at home—than fathers with full-time jobs.
  • Mothers, regardless of race, do more combined labor than fathers of all races. However, black and Hispanic mothers spend more time working than white mothers.
  • Hispanic mothers overall spend the most time on paid work and the second shift of unpaid household and caregiving labor.
  • Working mothers of young children do less paid labor per week than other female workers, while the inverse is true for working fathers.

“Working mothers are doing essential, unpaid labor at home that is stunting their personal earnings while underwriting their male counterparts’ ability to earn a living,” said Sarah Jane Glynn, expert in work-family policies and author of the report. “Caring for a young child, putting food on the table, cleaning—these are responsibilities that have to happen. Low-income families, and particularly those of color, are especially strapped for time, since most cannot afford to outsource these tasks to paid help. It is past time for policymakers to recognize this reality and pass work-life policies that will help people better manage work and family.”

The report also includes a series of equitable workplace policy recommendations that would help workers address time conflicts and narrow gender disparities in families’ division of labor, including:

  • Implementing a national paid sick and family leave framework.
  • Ensuring fair scheduling and workplace flexibility.
  • Protecting workers’ earnings by raising the federal minimum wage and addressing the gender wage gap.

Click here to read the report: “An Unequal Division of Labor” by Sarah Jayne Glynn.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at [email protected] or 202.741.6292.