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Issue Brief

Paid Leave and Employment Stability of First-Time Mothers

Title
Paid Leave and Employment Stability of First-Time Mothers
Date
January 2017
Author(s)
Jeff Hayes, Ph.D., Dallas Elgin, Ph.D., Ye Zhang, Ph.D., Sandeep Shetty, Ph.D., Jessica Smith, MPP
Market
Workforce Development
Services
Policy/Program Analysis
Applied Research Studies
Methodologies
Cost-benefit Analysis
Simulation
Survey Analysis

Welcoming a new child commonly requires working parents to face challenging decisions related to balancing their career obligations with the extensive caregiving responsibilities of a new child.

This issue brief explores the association between paid leave use and the employment stability of a specific group of parents, first-time mothers, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation’s (SIPP) Fertility History Module.

Our analysis finds that expecting mothers who utilize paid leave during and after their pregnancy have a greater ability to balance their career and caregiving responsibilities, and are subsequently more likely to experience employment stability.

In contrast, mothers who do not utilize paid leave face a greater likelihood of separating from their jobs in order to care for a newborn child.