Kids Bring Unexpected Benefits

April 4, 2001 ( - Research conducted by the Employment Policy Foundation (EPF) found no indication of discrimination against employees with children.

In fact, compared to employees who have never been parents, those with children under 18 earn more, work more hours and have a smaller chance of being unemployed, on average, according to EFP analysis.

The group also enjoys benefits such as childcare reimbursement or employer provided childcare.

The median annual income of a 30-year old college educated parent is $36,000 while their childless peers earn $35,000. The gap widens to $48,000 compared to $40,000 by age 39.

Labor of Love?

The study notes that parents with children under 18 work an average of 41 hours/week, but that workers that have never been parents work an average of three hours less per week. Part of the difference is explained by a higher preference for part-time work among non-parents (26.3%), compared with just 16.1% of parents with young children.

More than half (62.6%) of workers in the civilian labor force currently do not have children under the age of 18. Of these, 54% have never had children, while the remainder have children 18 years or older.

Men and women who have never been parents participate in the labor force at similar rates, 85% and 80% respectively. However fathers with children under the age of 18 are more likely to be in the labor force (96.1%), while the reverse is true for their female counterparts (73.6%). This gap narrows as children age.

The report is online at