Sumary of Time waited for no mom in 2020:
- In 2020, mothers of younger children were primary and primarily caregivers.
- In this piece, we document declines in labor force participation among mothers and provide evidence of how mothers spent their time in 2020. We find that overall, mothers of children 12 and under spent an average of eight hours per day on direct and secondary child care activities.
- Restricting attention to employed mothers with children 12 and under also spent about eight hours (7.4 hours during the weekday) per day on direct and indirect child care, and worked about six hours per weekday.
- [i] Through this survey, we documented extraordinary levels of material hardship in families with young children and the stress and time pressures that mothers have had to manage.
- This much larger federal survey corroborates the findings of the SMYC: mothers with children 12 and under have spent much of the past year caregiving.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has widened labor force participation gaps between mothers and fathers, and among mothers by marital status and the age of their youngest child.
- Figure 1 shows the extent to which labor force participation rates (LFPR;
- the share of a given group working or actively seeking work) have recovered to their level in January 2020. As of June 2021, the most recently available data, the LFPRs of prime-age mothers (those aged 25-54) remain well below the pre-COVID level.