With corporate bailout after bailout hitting the news, families struggling with a sinking national economy, and a new administration on the way in, we have a unique opportunity to make real--and tremendously overdue--progress for work and family economic security in our nation.
And, yes, progress is needed. While it may not hit the headlines every day, on a daily basis people are now worrying about work and family responsibilities nearly as much as they are worrying about the national economy. In fact, a poll conducted by Lake Research Partners earlier this month found that those concerns are neck-and-neck: Daily worries about work and family responsibilities proved to be frequent for 72 percent of working fathers and 67 percent of working mothers with children under 18. In comparison, 73 percent of working fathers and 74 percent of working mothers worried on a daily basis about the economy. That's about as close as you can get.
People are worrying for good reason. As you'll read here, our nation is behind most other industrialized nations when it comes to work and family policies, and yet many families are struggling to make ends meet. We work more hours per week than most other nations, but are barely treading water when it comes to family economic security. People are caught between an economic rock and a hard spot: Deciding whether to be able to put food on the dinner table or be at the dinner table,
As we rethink the economy and set new priorities, this is the perfect moment to integrate work and family initiatives into contemporary economic security strategies.