This paper examines the employment patterns of families with children (under the age of 16) over the period from 1976 to 2014, with a particular focus on couple families with children. This article also highlights regional differences in the working patterns of parents and provides additional information on the employment patterns of lone parents.
- In 2014, 69% of couple families with at least one child under 16 were dual-earner families, up from 36% in 1976. Among dual-earner families, almost three-quarters had two parents working full time in 2014.
- In 2014, single-earner families made up 27% of all couple families with children, down from 59% in 1976. Families with two non-working parents accounted for 4% of couple families with children in 2014 (compared with about 6% in 1976).
- Among the 27% of single-earner families, 16% had a stay-at-home mother and 2% had a stay-at-home father. Others (9%) had a parent that was either unemployed, attending school or permanently unable to work.
- Regionally, Alberta had the lowest proportion of dual-earner families in 2014 (65% of couple families with children), while Saskatchewan (74%) and Quebec (73%) had the highest. Alberta also had the highest proportion of families with a stay-at-home parent (26% of couple families with children).
- Stay-at-home mothers had lower levels of education, had more children under 16 and were younger than working mothers. Stay-at-home fathers had lower levels of education, had fewer children, and were older than their working counterparts.