Single moms need jobs

Katherine - posted on 05/10/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )

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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?

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Jennifer - posted on 05/10/2011

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It's about the same way here Jennifer. My husband lost his job this last January and we had to apply for some assistance just til he could find more work. We were given free healthcare for all of us (6 in my house), $950 a month in food stamps, and over $600 a month in cash assistance a month. Their way of making us "work" for it was for my husband to take GED classes. They even gave him $25 a week for gas to get there! We honestly could have gotten more, but didn't want to take advantage since we didn't need it. In march, my husband found full time work, and when he let them know about it, they were so surprised. They were so excited that he had actually been looking. I mean seriously it was only supposed to be temporary, and the only way I was ok with us getting that much was because up until 3 years ago (when I became a SAHM) I had always had a job from the age of 16. My husband had never been without a job before either, and it wasn't like it was his choice on losing his other job. Now, my husband is working 12-14 hours a day, and we will be back to eating spaghetti instead of steak!

Jenni - posted on 05/10/2011

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I'm not sure how the assistance program works in the states but in Canada there is little incentive to get a job for single moms. At least for women without career training.



The BM of my SD receives $310 in child support, $500 in child tax benefits $200-300 in social assistance a month and doesn't have to pay a cent for rent or utilities. She lives in a 3 level townhouse with 3 bedrooms (even though it's just her and her daughter). While we live a tiny one level 3 bedroom house. My husband works full time and makes twice minimum wage and she still has way more extra spending money than us and is way better off than us. It does make me a little pissy, I'll admit. Especially that she gets a free house and free utilities, can afford to join a gym and buy new clothes every month. When we work and have to live paycheck to paycheck.



She has no incentive to get a job.

Jennifer - posted on 05/10/2011

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yes, I'm in Ohio. When I was a single mom, I worked 5 days a week as a nursing assistant. I would only bring home about $1200 a month, and was constantly facing getting kicked off the program because I almost made too much. Child care in my area was around $3per hour per child and I had 2 kids. That would mean my take home after child care would have been $240 a month. That's not even enough to pay for a cheap efficiency appt. in my area. Seriously, I bet the government would save itself so much money by offering free/reduced childcare, because they would have more people working (meaning more tax money comming in) and they would have a lot less on welfare taking advantage of the free healthcare they get.

Katherine - posted on 05/10/2011

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Are you in the states Jennifer? I know we get NO assistance here.

Jennifer - posted on 05/10/2011

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That's one thing I don't get. The government is so quick to offer a hand out, instead of helping to find a solution to the problem and offer a hand up. I think one thing that would help moms everywhere is the childcare expense issue. The guidlines are so low for any type of assistance where I live, and actually the mom has more money given to her by welfare, than what she can bring home in most instances after childcare is paid for.

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