The Work-Life Balance In Crisis: Leave Taking among Employed Women in the United States

Emily Saunoi-Sandgren, University of Minnesota

This paper presents the results from a quantitative analysis of women’s leave taking across time and among different types of leave, both paid and unpaid. Data are used from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). A descriptive analysis is used to examine the rates of leave taking among working women (n=38,197) by educational attainment, income level, marital status and race/ethnicity. A multivariate regression analysis and trend analysis are used to examine the significance of the differential rate of leave taking among women, after controlling for other worker, employer, economic, and policy control variables. The results show that patterns of leave-taking magnify inequalities among women. For example, low-skilled and low-income women are more likely to permanently leave a job after childbirth rather than take leave. Only 38% of employed women have access to paid leave. This rate decreases for low-skilled and low-income women.

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Presented in Session 35: Family Leave Policies