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Klobuchar Releases New ‘Mother’s Day’ Report Celebrating the Economic Contributions of Moms Working Outside the Home

May 09 2014

Nearly two-thirds of American families rely on a mother’s income, and mothers now out-earn their husbands in more than one-third of married-couple families 

Klobuchar calls for passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act and other policies to ensure fair pay and economic opportunity for women 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, today released a new ‘Mother’s Day’ report showing that nearly two-thirds of American families rely either in part or entirely on a mother’s income, underscoring the increasingly critical role mothers play in ensuring the financial success of their families. Nationwide, roughly 45 million children have a mother who works outside the home, and 17 million children live in households where the mother is the sole breadwinner. Klobuchar called for the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act and other policies to ensure fair pay and economic opportunity for women.

“This report confirms what most of us already knew: American moms are a force of nature, both in our families and in our economy,” Klobuchar said. “With two-thirds of today’s families relying all or in part on a mother’s income, the economic impact of these women has never been more important. We need to do everything we can to ensure women can succeed in the workforce in the workforce and lift up their families.”  

Across the country, 70 percent of mothers with children under the age of 18 are in the labor force. More than one-quarter of mothers employed outside the home are single moms. In married-couple families, 65 percent of mothers are employed, and on average, they contribute more than 40 percent of their family’s income. In more than one-third of those families, mothers now out-earn their husbands, serving as their household’s primary income earner.

Despite recent progress, another recent JEC report acknowledges that women—both mothers and those without children—continue to face challenges in the workforce. Women who work full time earn between 77 and 82 cents for every dollar men earn, and that wage gap has far-reaching implications for women at all stages of their lives, but particularly in retirement: As Klobuchar noted in that report, lower lifetime earnings often translate into lower Social Security payments, pension incomes and personal savings for women. 

Klobuchar’s ‘Mothers’ Day’ report looks at potential policy solutions for helping more women and mothers gain financial security.  Klobuchar is a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation that would have helped close the gender pay gap but fell short of passing the Senate in early April. Two-thirds of family caregivers are women, and for mothers looking after aging relatives, Klobuchar has introduced legislation that would help ease the financial strain, called the Americans Giving Care to Elders Act.

 

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