(U.S.) – A recent study by the U.S. Census Bureau is putting a price tag on motherhood and the impact on her employment and earnings.
In the study, researchers examined how a woman’s earnings may fluctuate in the moths and years after having a child. They discovered that the impact on wages was perhaps most significant in the long-term.
According to the Census Bureau study, earnings for mothers who continue to work falls by an average of $1,861 in the first quarter after they have a baby compared to their pre-pregnancy or early pregnancy wages. However, their earnings tend to recover by the fifth quarter after they have a baby and even rise by an average of $101 per quarter for the following six years.
Researchers noted that while the recovery and increase are encouraging, there is not a large enough of either to return women to their earnings path before they had children. The study also drew conclusions based on demographic data indicating the earnings of more educated mothers fell less and recovered faster than the earnings of those with less education. Researchers also found that though black women initially face a larger decline in workforce participation after birth, they are increasingly more likely to work as time goes on – compared to their white counterparts.