Job Volatility of Rural, Low-income Mothers: A Mixed Methods Approach
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- Berry, A.A., Katras, M.J., Sano, Y. et al. J Fam Econ Iss (2008) 29: 5. doi:10.1007/s10834-007-9096-1
The struggle for rural, low-income mothers to enter and remain in the workforce can contribute to job volatility, longitudinal changes in employment patterns. This study used a mixed methods longitudinal approach to examine job volatility of 245 rural, low-income mothers across 14 states. The mothers were categorized into three groups: stable employment, intermittent employment, and continuous unemployment. Work and family responsibilities were a continuous struggle for these mothers. Some mothers addressed these struggles through changing jobs, receiving social support, and/or staying out of the workforce to care for their children. To reduce job volatility, both qualitative and quantitative analyses showed that human capital development requires workplace flexibility and social support in addition to the traditional investments in education and healthcare.