Increasing numbers of mothers, choosing to go to work, are leaving their children at home with baby sitters or in day-care centers, the government reported Monday. While the total number of families with school-age or preschool children rose 460,000 last year, the number of employed mothers shot up 765,000, to 18.2 million, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.
From the final quarter of 1984 to the last quarter of 1985, the share of families with children in which the mother is employed rose from 56.3 percent to 58 percent of all families, the bureau said.
Still, more than half the mothers in families with a child or children under age 6 continued to stay at home. The percentage of wage-earning mothers with preschool children remained at 49.1 percent, unchanged from 1984.
The BLS report said the median family wage and salary earnings for the nation rose 4.6 percent last year, to $522 a week.