Fewer stay-at-home moms than ever

The recession that began at the end of 2007 took a toll on US families last year as the number of parents without jobs climbed, Census data released on Friday showed.

Among the country's 25.8 million married couples with children under 18, about 6% of husbands were unemployed in 2009, compared with 3% in 2007. The proportion of jobless wives and mothers also doubled to 4% from 2% in 2007.

"These statistics show us that families are having a difficult time during this recession," said Rose Kreider, family demographer with the US Census Bureau.

The country's unemployment rate exceeded 10% in October.

Government data on teen-aged workers has shown the youngest members of the labor force are also struggling with finding and keeping jobs, but there have been few indicators to how the deepest recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s has affected children's home life.

Married couples with children in which both parents have jobs totalled 59% in 2009, compared with 63% in 2007. Families where only the wife worked jumped to 7% in 2009 from 5% in 2007.

At the same time, one in 10 mothers heading "mother-only family groups" were unemployed in 2009.

The recession also impacted the era of the "stay-at-home mom." In 2008, 5.3 million women made rearing children their full-time jobs. A year later, their ranks had shrunk to 5.1 million.

Do you think the recession has affected South Africans in a similar way?
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