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Study: Parents Work Longer Hours Than Non-Parents Amid Recession Fears

Despite working longer hours than non-parents, caregivers report being more concerned about reduced benefits, lower salaries and job loss.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Updated March 28, 2023
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Despite a reported 311,000 jobs added in February, the tech industry’s recent layoffs and small bank instability continue to stoke fears of recession and increase anxiety around job security. For working parents who have mouths to feed and dependents to care for, the pressure to prove their worth and keep their jobs can be especially intense.

A new survey by Justworks set out to understand just how working parents are dealing with these recession fears. The Harris Poll surveyed 2,026 US adults, including 1,099 full or part-time employees, about their work habits and concerns.

The results reveal that working parents are more worried than their childless peers about recession-related issues like a worsening company culture, reduced benefits, lower salaries, longer work hours and job loss.

In fact, 54 percent of working parents have changed their behavior at work to avoid being laid off, compared to 40 percent of employees without kids under 18. One of the most noticeable ways this shows up is through working longer hours. Around 40 percent of working parents reported working longer hours because of their fears about the recession, compared to 31 percent of employees without children under 18.

The study also found that 72 percent of working parents are actively looking for new job opportunities or are open to them, compared to 61 percent of employees without kids under 18. However, many worry that the jobs they are searching for might not be out there. Fifty-five percent of parents agree that they have fewer job opportunities available to them in this economic environment, compared to 47 percent of employees without children under 18.

The findings lead to important implications for how companies and organizations can support parents during these difficult times. By recognizing the unique challenges faced by working parents and providing resources and benefits like flexible work arrangements, counseling services or paid family leave, companies can help ease their worries and create a more supportive work environment.

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