Monday, September 24, 2007

Study shows rural mothers are more likely to work, but also likely to get lower wages

Rural mothers with children under age 6 are more likely to work than urban mothers, but they "have higher poverty rates, lower wages, and lower family income," according to a new study by the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire. In 2004, 69 percent of rural mothers were employed, while 63 percent of urban mothers were. In the same year, 24 percent of rural mothers lived in poverty compared to 20 percent of urban mothers.

“As men’s jobs in traditional rural industries such as agriculture, mining, timber and manufacturing disappear due to restructuring of rural labor markets, families increasingly depend on women’s wage labor,” said Kristin Smith, family demographer with the Carsey Institute and author of the study. She says her findings raise "concerns about the availability of high quality child care and preschool programs in rural communities, especially considering recent research finding that rural children lag behind urban children in early literacy skills when entering kindergarten." To read the full study, go here.

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