New study: Alabama the worst state in America for working moms

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The struggle is indeed real for working moms in Alabama.

Not only do they have one of the toughest jobs in the world — raising children — but they’re also juggling the stessors that come along with having a job, and according to a new study by the personal finance website WalletHub, Alabama ranks as America’s worst state for working moms in 2017.

In their latest study of 2017’s Best & Worst States for Working Moms WalletHub analysts to a look at Census data, other federal figures, as well as data from independent research groups to see how states compared for woking moms across the country.  They focused on three specific areas: child care, professional opportunities, and work-life balance. Within those three areas, they analyzed 13 key indicators — such as cost of child care, quality of school systems, gender pay gap, families in poverty, and average commute time to work — to evaluate each state and the District of Columbia on a 100-point scale.

Here’s how life as a working mom in Alabama ranks (1=best; 25=avg.)

  • 47th: Day-care quality
  • 28th: Pediatricians per capita
  • 48th: Gender pay gap (women’s earnings as % of men’s)
  • 48th: Ratio of female executives to male executives
  • 33rd: Median women’s salary (adjusted for cost of living)
  • 43rd: Female unemployment rate
  • 40th: Parental-leave policy score
  • 30th: Avg. length of woman’s workday (in hours)
  • 48th: % of single-mom families in poverty

Down from last year’s second worst state spot, it’s not all bad news for Yellowhammer State working moms. The state in ranked 5th in lowest child-care costs.

If Alabama hopes to improve its ranking for 2018, there will need to be some policy changes from the state Legislature.

Experts said in order to support working mothers in the U.S., mandatory paid leave policies like those that exist in European countries should be considered. They also said providing more accessible and affordable child care centers would help make the life of the working mom easier.

“State and local governments could be leaders in establishing paid parental and care leave, and even consider family allowances that are provided in some European countries for families with young children,” said Linda Grant,  Professor Emerita of Sociology at University of Georgia. “Children would be seen as a resource within communities. If governments provided such benefits, it would be an incentive for private-sector employers to do the same. As some state and local governments already are doing, they might encourage flexible work hour schedules in their labor forces.”

Grant continued, “Governments can encourage the establishment of quality and affordable care centers in businesses or neighborhoods.”

Here’s a look at how Alabama compares to the rest of the country:

Source: WalletHub
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