Workplace Flexibility: A Policy Problem

The American family changed dramatically over
the last decades of the twentieth century. In
1960, 70 percent of families had a parent home
full-time. Today, this is reversed. Fully 70
percent of families with children are now headed
by two working parents or by an unmarried
working parent. The breadwinner and homemaker have been replaced by “juggler parents” with responsibility for both making
ends meet and caring for the family. And this
family can now include elderly relatives. More
than 21 percent of households have at least one
individual who has cared for a relative or friend
over age 50 in the past year. Of those caregivers,
59 percent have worked and managed caregiving
responsibilities at the same time.

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Katelin Isaacs
Karen Kornbluh
Shelley Waters Boots