There are many economic trends occurring. One of these trends making a great impact on the economy today is the number of women in the workforce. In fact, the percentage of women who were of working age and have full-time jobs went from 28.6 percent to 40.7 percent since 1979. With mothers, the percentage has gone from 27.3 percent to 44.1 percent. Also, women are not only working, but they are holding positions with great responsibility like CEO and other board positions. The reports where these statistics also found that had women’s involvement in the workforce stayed the same, it would have caused the economy to decrease by 11 percent which would have been about 1.7 trillion dollars lost in economic output. Due to these changes in our society, we see that working mothers are becoming a crucial piece in our economy.
In their own families, mothers contribute to nearly forty percent to the household’s income, and with poorer families, this number increases to eighty-six percent of the total income. This statistic can be due to women’s presence in the workforce vastly increasing as the years go by. This shows that women’s wages have been sustaining family incomes because the incomes of men have stagnated. In fact, men’s median income was seven percent lower in 2013 than it was in 1973. It seems that families are doing better when the mother is working. The median income of married-couple families where the mother is in the labor force has increased by twenty-seven percent between 1987 and 2013. When the woman was the head of the household during that same period, the median income of those families increased by about seventeen percent. The benefits this exposes is clear when comparing to the five percent decline in median income that married-couple families faced when the mother stayed at home.
It is good to know that in the United States, this change is gaining more traction, especially when comparing it to a country like Japan. According to the International Monetary Fund, due to its failure to integrate women into the workforce, they have been unable to escape their economic slump. Now, there is still much work to be done. The Center for American Progress says that if more women worked, the US could be stronger. Currently, about one-third of all women and one-quarter of all mothers do not work. There are many structural reasons for this, but with all the data that shows how beneficial women in the workforce boost our economy hopefully, there is a change in this dynamic. With the implementation of a strong parental leave policy that would allow women paid time off after having children, it could influence more women to not only join the workforce but stay as well.