More Hispanic Women Leaving Workforce Immediately After Childbirth
Hispanic women are giving birth to more children and at a younger age, and an increasing number of the new mothers are leaving the work force, according to studies recently conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Miami Herald reports. Thirty-four percent of Hispanic women with infants are working, compared with 53% of all married women with infants, the statistics show. According to researchers, married Hispanic mothers usually leave the labor force the first year after their child is born. "This is particularly true for college-educated Hispanics," Maria Aysa-Lastra, a sociologist and professor at Florida International University, said, adding, "They want to stay home with newborns because research has proven that first year of life is important, and daily presence of mom has an impact on a child's performance." The percentage of employed Hispanic mothers doubles by the time their youngest child is about 10 years old, according to the Herald. Hispanic culture, which emphasizes family support, plays a large role in a women's decision to leave the workforce, the Herald reports. Researchers are currently analyzing how fertility and labor-force participation relate to the generation of women who immigrated to the U.S., their country of origin and their socioeconomic group. According to the Herald, it is unclear whether there is a long-term shift toward fewer new mothers leaving the labor force. According 2005 data, there was a small increase in new mothers' rate of employment nationally (Krischer Goodman, Miami Herald, 12/20).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.