Single-parent families have historically faced greater economic precarity relative to other family types in the United States. We investigate how and whether those disparities widened after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using data on exposure to school and childcare center closures, unemployment, poverty, food hardship, and frequent worrying among single-parent families versus two-parent families throughout 2020 and 2021, we find that the challenges that single parents faced prior to the pandemic generally magnified after the arrival of COVID-19. In April 2020, one in four single parents was unemployed, and unemployment rates recovered more slowly for single parents throughout 2021, perhaps in part due to their unequal exposure to school and childcare closures. The expansion of income transfers largely buffered against potential increases in poverty and hardship, but levels of worrying among single parents continued to worsen throughout 2021.

Economic precarity among single parents in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic

Parolin, Zachary
;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Single-parent families have historically faced greater economic precarity relative to other family types in the United States. We investigate how and whether those disparities widened after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using data on exposure to school and childcare center closures, unemployment, poverty, food hardship, and frequent worrying among single-parent families versus two-parent families throughout 2020 and 2021, we find that the challenges that single parents faced prior to the pandemic generally magnified after the arrival of COVID-19. In April 2020, one in four single parents was unemployed, and unemployment rates recovered more slowly for single parents throughout 2021, perhaps in part due to their unequal exposure to school and childcare closures. The expansion of income transfers largely buffered against potential increases in poverty and hardship, but levels of worrying among single parents continued to worsen throughout 2021.
2022
Parolin, Zachary; Lee, Emma K.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11565/4051925
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