Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Domestic Dads and Uncounted Employment in Oregon

On the heels of Father's Day, an article from McClatchy Newspapers caught our attention. A recently released study from the Boston College Center for Work and Family gives a portrait of stay-at-home fathers. While fathers represent a small share of at-home parents (3.4%), the number has doubled over the past decade. Interviews revealed that these domestic dads were happy in their careers before choosing to become the primary caregiver for their family. For those who became the at-home parent due to a layoff, most reported seeing it as an opportunity; both they and their spouses agreed that these dads were performing the great work of parenting.

Earlier this year I updated an online article (originally written by Brooke Jackson) about uncounted employment in Oregon. Many people -- such as full-time homemakers and retirees -- may volunteer in a wide variety of work activities inside or outside the home. However, because they are neither paid for these activities nor working in a family business, they are not counted as employed.

Although not counted as employed, a homemaker can provide a household with substantial financial benefits. Indeed, many families face a difficult call: Will they will be better off financially - or not - if the homemaker takes a paying job? The need to purchase services formerly provided by the homemaker (such as meal preparation, child care, repairs, maintenance, and cleaning) combined with additional work-related transportation and clothing costs may significantly reduce the household's net benefit from the homemaker's prospective paid employment. 

You can find more information on stay-at-home dads in the McClatchy piece, and more about uncounted employment in the QualityInfo article.

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