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Economic News Release
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Employment Characteristics of Families Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, March 24, 2011                  USDL-11-0396

Technical information:  (202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
Media contact:          (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


                 EMPLOYMENT CHARACTERISTICS OF FAMILIES--2010


In 2010, 12.4 percent of families included an unemployed person, up from 12.0 
percent in 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The proportion 
of families with an unemployed member in 2010 was at its highest level since the 
data series began in 1994. Of the nation's 78.2 million families, 80.0 percent had 
at least one employed member in 2010, down from 80.4 percent in 2009.

These data on employment, unemployment, and family relationships are collected as 
part of the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly sample survey of approximately
60,000 households. Families are classified either as married-couple families or as
families maintained by women or men without spouses. For further information about
the CPS, see the Technical Note. //FAMEE ZUNI3PO Test 11/2/2020//

Families and Unemployment

The number of families with at least one unemployed member edged up to 9.7 million
in 2010. The proportion of families with an unemployed member was 12.4 percent 
in 2010, up from 12.0 percent in 2009 and nearly double the 6.3 percent in 2007.
(The most recent recession began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009 according
to the National Bureau of Economic Research.) In 2010, black and Hispanic families
remained more likely to have an unemployed member (19.2 and 17.4 percent, respectively)
than white and Asian families (11.3 percent each). (See table 1.)

Most families with an unemployed member also have at least one family member who is
employed. Among families with an unemployed member in 2010, 67.7 percent also had an
employed member, down from 68.6 percent in 2009 and 71.2 percent in 2007.
(See table 1.)

Among married-couple families with an unemployed member in 2010, 79.4 percent 
contained at least one employed member. Among families maintained by men (no spouse
present) with an unemployed member, 53.3 percent had an employed member in 2010; for
families maintained by women (no spouse present), the proportion was 44.7 percent. 
These proportions were little changed from 2009 for the three family types. (See 
table 3.)

Families and Employment

The share of families with an employed member fell from 80.4 percent in 2009 to 
80.0 percent in 2010. In 2007, 82.6 percent of families had an employed member.
The likelihood of having an employed family member declined from 2009 to 2010 for
white and Asian families to 80.3 and 87.3 percent, respectively, and edged lower
for black families to 74.8 percent. There was little change in the likelihood of
employment among Hispanic families (84.2 percent). (See table 1.)

In 2010, families maintained by women with no spouse present remained less likely
to have an employed member (71.9 percent) than married-couple families (82.1 percent)
or families maintained by men with no spouse present (79.3 percent). For all three
family types, the likelihood of having an employed member has fallen since 2007. 
(See table 2.)

Both the husband and wife were employed in 47.8 percent of married-couple families
in 2010, compared with 48.5 percent in 2009. The husband was the only worker in
19.7 percent of married-couple families in 2010, and the wife was the only worker
in 8.6 percent. Both measures were little changed over the year. (See table 2.)

Families with Children

Forty-four percent of all families included children (sons, daughters, stepchildren,
and adopted children) under age 18. Among the 34.5 million families with children,
87.4 percent had an employed parent in 2010, down from 87.8 percent in 2009. The
2010 proportion is the lowest since the data series began in 1994. The mother was
employed in 67.0 percent of families maintained by women with no spouse present in
2010, down from 67.8 percent in 2009. The father was employed in 75.8 percent of
families maintained by men with no spouse present in 2010, little changed over the
year. Among married-couple families with children, 95.7 percent had an employed
parent in 2010, unchanged from the prior year. The share of married-couple families
where both parents worked fell to 58.1 percent in 2010 from 58.9 percent in 2009.
(See table 4.)

Mothers

The labor force participation rate--the percent of the population working or looking
for work--for all mothers with children under 18 was 70.8 percent in 2010, down from
71.4 percent in 2009. In 2010, the participation rate for married mothers with a 
spouse present (68.9 percent) remained lower than the rate for mothers with other
marital statuses (75.0 percent). Married mothers were about as likely to be employed
as mothers with other marital statuses in 2010, but their unemployment rate was
substantially lower--6.3 percent, compared with 14.6 percent for mothers with other
marital statuses. Unemployment rates increased from 2009 to 2010 for mothers of all
marital statuses. (See table 5.)

Mothers with younger children are less likely to be in the labor force than mothers 
with older children. In 2010, the labor force participation rate of mothers with 
children under 6 years old (63.9 percent) was lower than the rate of those whose 
youngest child was 6 to 17 years old (76.5 percent). The participation rate of mothers
with infants under a year old was 56.5 percent. Among mothers with infants, there was
little difference in the participation rate of married mothers (56.3 percent) and 
those with other marital statuses (57.0 percent). However, the unemployment rate for
married mothers of infants, at 7.1 percent, was significantly lower than the rate for
mothers with other marital statuses (22.5 percent). (See tables 5 and 6.)



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Last Modified Date: November 02, 2020