Pew Survey Finds More Mothers Are Primary Breadwinners
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A new survey from Pew Research showed that women continue to make unprecedented advances in the business world, but some say that may not necessarily be a good thing.
According to Pew, a record 40 percent of all households with kids under 18 have mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family. For comparison purposes, in 1960, the share was just 11 percent.
As a single mom, Joyce Hunter of Lauderdale-by-the-sea can relate to the new statistics. She worked long and hard to raise her daughter all alone.
“There are things you miss out on, times you can’t be there. But I also think it’s a great role model for your children so they know you are working and not just sitting at home,” said Hunter.
Hunter is president-elect of the local chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. She believes that many working women are choosing to start their own businesses because it offers flexibility with their family life.
The recent survey says that 37 percent of the “breadwinner moms” are married mothers who have a higher income than their husbands, while 63 percent are single mothers. The salary gap between the two groups is large with married mothers earning significantly more than families led by single mothers.
“As far as women as the breadwinner, everybody is different. If it works for you, it works for you,” said Krystal King who is single and has a career.
The Pew study also found that married mothers who earn more than their husbands are “slightly older, dis-proportionally white and college educated.” On the other hands single moms are “younger, more likely to be black or Hispanic, and less likely to have a college degree.
Patrick Doherty, husband and father and the main breadwinner in his family told CBS4’s Joan Murray, “I applaud all the moms who have work forty hours a week and still have the time to spend with their kids. It’s admirable.”
Still, 74 percent of adults told the Pew Research Center that the increasing number of women working for pay “has made it harder for parents to raise children and half say that it has made marriages harder to succeed. At the same time, two-thirds say it has made it easier for families to live comfortably.”
Single mother Hunter now runs her own printing business with her partner, Phil Lomenzo.
Lomenzo raised his two children on his own, and said he’s not surprised that moms now comprise 40 percent of household breadwinners, “Number one the divorce rate. Women usually have custody of the kids, and fathers are not always helping with the kids,” said Lomenzo.
Finally, Pew found that the total income is higher when the mother, not the father, is the primary breadwinner by a difference of roughly $2,000.