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What Moms Really Need: Jobs

By Sierra Black |

While many of us were kicking back yesterday enjoying flowers, brunch and our kids’ homemade Mother’s Day crafts, there’s one thing moms could really use that we didn’t get for Mother’s Day: jobs.

The New York Times Economix blog makes the case that what many moms need more than anything is good public support programs that will help them get back to work. Single moms in particular are in desperate need of employment programs: they’re more likely to be without a job than their married counterparts, and they rely on their income more.

What should we do about it?

The answer, according to Economix, is to provide publically funded jobs programs aimed at single parents. These programs would have the advantage of getting moms into the workforce right away, and provide them with more income and stability than the current array of aid programs. The present-day manifestation of welfare has moms and kids living below the poverty line in every state, and there’s a lifetime cap of 60 months that you can receive benefits.

To make ends meet, single moms need to work.

Can jobs programs really help them? Economix things so. They write:

A recent study of public job-creation efforts for low-income parents by LaDonna Pavetti, Liz Schott, and Elizabeth Lower-Basch and co-published by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Center for Law and Social Policy showed that several states used fiscal stimulus funds effectively to this end.

Some subsidized programs exceeded their goals: Illinois intended to place about 15,000 individuals in subsidized jobs and ended up placing more than 30,000. More than 60,000 applied – poignant testimony to the desire for jobs.

If these job creation programs are so good, why aren’t they more popular? They’re politically challenging to get support for, which is a shame because the evidence cited above seems to suggest that they work.

What do you think should be done to help more moms find jobs?

Photo: Argonne National Laboratory

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About Sierra Black


Sierra Black

Sierra Black lives, writes and raises her kids in the Boston area. She loves irreverence, hates housework and wants to be a writer and mom when she grows up. Read bio and latest posts → Read Sierra's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “What Moms Really Need: Jobs

  1. Alex | Perfecting Dad says:

    Some families, and single parent families definitely have it tough. However, I do think that many families could do a better job of managing their own finances and taking on a more entrepreneurial view. Run the family as a business! Over the Mother’s Day weekend I had dinner with my mother, but also a friend and his wife and kid. The friend and wife annoyed me by complaining about their money situation, even though they make almost double what me and my wife make, and they have only one kid while we have three. The post is All-In: How I Made $800,000 in a Lifetime and $15,000 Last Week and it’s a bit of a rant, but I hope it might motivate some into seeing that you can take steps from nothing to becoming well off. Anyway, you’ll never get rich from a government program!

  2. Meagan says:

    Alex pretty sure no one is talking about getting rich, they’re talking about getting buy. When we are discussing a government program that would provide jobs to people who don’t have them, it’s hardly an issue of “managing finances.” If there is no job, there ARE no finances to manage.

  3. Anony says:

    How about convincing employers to consider just what mothers do when they’re staying at home, managing that home and their family? Balancing a checkbook, managing multiple personalities, resolving conflicts, multitasking in so many different ways. Volunteering on school committees – doing anything from working in a concession stand to promotions, and you name whatever else.
    Sad to say, most employers consider that “mom time” to be “lost time” – making it that much harder to get back into the workforce after you’ve left it. And I can speak to this from experience. I hold a bachelor’s degree, a plethora of work and volunteer experience, and have been stymied at every turn for the last three years. It is very frustrating.

  4. Alex | Perfecting Dad says:

    Agreed Megan, but I think it’s good to set your sights on something better than just getting by. I have a friend who had no job for a year, and was “just getting by” as she looked for what I thought was a bad, dead-end job. Her husband works part-time in a grocery store, so they have very little income. In the meantime she wastes a ton of time playing facebook games and “poking me”. I coached her a bit, and gave both her and her husband concrete opportunities that she never followed up on (appropriate ones, not “buy an apartment building”). She’s all disappointed about how few opportunities she has, but I’m not sorry for her anymore because she doesn’t believe she can do better, so she’s chosen her path.

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