Children’s Experience with Parental Employment Insecurity and Family Income Inequality
As Americans continue to struggle through the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression, this report documents the high levels of parental employment insecurity and family income inequality that children in middle-class and lower-income families are experiencing. Such factors can have a negative impact on children’s well-being and undermine their prospects for success in school and for later economic success as adults.
This report focuses on the years from 2000, when family income reached its historic peak, through March 2015 to analyze children’s experiences with trends in parental employment insecurity and family income inequality. Findings compare children in middle-income, lower- middle-income, and the lowest-income families to children in the highest-income families. Results were calculated from the Current Population Survey (CPS), which is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (see Appendix A).
A new Index of Parental Employment Insecurity that captures more fully the nature and extent of employment insecurity than the current official monthly unemployment rate metric is presented in this report. This more comprehensive indicator reflects the extent to which children experience a situation where a parent wanted to work or wanted more work during the preceding 15 months. The report also presents new results regarding income trends for children across the economic spectrum that portray the sharp increases in economic inequality which they have experienced since 2000.
Source: Foundation for Child Development (2017). Children’s Experience with Parental Employment Insecurity and Family Income Inequality.