Employment Rates Higher Among Rural Mothers Than Urban Mothers

Sep 24, 2007 | by
  • Description

As men's jobs in traditional rural industries such as agriculture, natural resource extraction, and manufacturing disappear due to restructuring of rural labor markets, the survival of the family increasingly depends on women's waged labor. Rural mothers with children under age 6 have higher employment rates than their urban counterparts, but have higher poverty rates, lower wages, and lower family income, placing rural mothers and their children in a more economically vulnerable situation than urban mothers. The entry of rural women, and particularly rural mothers, into the paid labor market is important to consider in light of recent research that finds rural children lagging behind urban children in letter recognition or beginning sounds recognition when entering kindergarten.Good quality child care enhances early brain development, cognitive and language development, and school readiness, setting the stage for successful early school achievement. As more rural mothers enter the workforce, ensuring good quality child care is critical because child care providers play an important role in promoting child development, especially for preschoolers, whose early life experiences play a fundamental role in their development.