More Moms Work in Minnesota than Stay Home

Updated: 05/09/2014 6:20 PM
Created: 05/09/2014 5:30 PM
By: Kate Renner

Stay at home moms are harder to find in Minnesota than almost any other state. We rank number four when it comes to the number of working mothers.

State law is adjusting to the trend. A bill currently on its way to Governor Dayton would give moms 12 weeks maternity or parenting leave, rather than six. Pregnant women would be entitled to reasonable accommodations to protect their well-being. Under the law a company cannot decide whether to hire someone based on their "familial status."

That's not exactly the direction the rest of our country is taking. Demographers say it's just the opposite, nationwide more moms are staying home. 

For a 3-year-old with a mom who works full-time, Friday is like a national holiday.

"I took the day off, so I could be out here with Luke and have Mommy/Luke day," said Mindy Anderson, a mom from Minneapolis. 

As a speech pathologist, Mindy Anderson is one of the 78 percent of Minnesota moms who work outside the home.

"I'm 40 hours a week, not by choice, I was part-time when he was 10 months, and then my husband lost his job," Anderson said.

Many demographers are noticing a change in the workforce since the recession.

"That may be just carrying over into this period, where labor market is getting better but not back to where it was before the recession," said Oriane Casele, Assistant Director, Labor Market Information Office.

But nationally more mothers are staying at home; up from 23 percent in 1999, to 29 percent in 2012, according to Pew Research.

Census data in Minnesota shows less than 18 percent of Minnesota moms stay at home.

"As much as I love being home, I wanted to help people and be a nurse," said Sara Mistic, a mom from Brainerd. Mistic made the choice to keep working as a part-time nurse.

"Women have more choices, and when women have more choices they do tend to work even when they have children," Casele said.

Even when they have three very demanding bosses (children) at home.

So you may wonder why do more Minnesota moms work. Casele says women in Minnesota are highly educated; and Minnesota has a better labor market and high quality childcare. 

One demographer says our short commute times help too.

On Mother's Day at 11:30 a.m., Dayton will sign the Women’s Economic Security Act (CH 239, HF 2536) into law.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

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