Louisiana ranked second worst state for working moms

Halen Doughty

A new report from the personal finance website WalletHub ranks Louisiana as the second worst state in the country for working moms. According to WalletHub, more than 70 percent of moms with young children work. In this Mother's Day season, analysts compared the attractiveness of each state through 15 metrics, including female unemployment rates and daycare quality.

Louisiana ranked near or at the bottom in a number of categories to earn its overall 50th ranking out of 51 states including the District of Columbia. WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzales said healthcare for children was one area in which the Bayou State underperformed.

"Louisiana has the second lowest number of pediatricians at just 2 per 100,000 residents and no child care centers that are nationally accredited," said Gonzales.

Working conditions for mothers in Louisiana were not much better, according to the report. The state came in at number 41 for the average length of women's workdays in hours. Gonzales added that Louisiana ranked 37th for median women's salaries when adjusted for cost of living.

"When it comes to Professional Opportunities, the state has the 7th biggest gender pay gap, with females earning 76.40 cents to the dollar when compared to males," said Gonzales. "It also has the third highest poverty rate among single moms at 49 percent and the 6th highest female unemployment rate at 5.80 percent."

Working moms living in poverty is a big concern. Gender pay gaps contribute to that, as well as more women occupying low-ranking positions within corporations. Gonzales said Louisiana ranks 43th for the ratio of female executives to male executives.

"High poverty rates are influenced by high unemployment rates and low incomes," said Gonzales. "Unfortunately, in Louisiana women are earning far less than men and don't have as many job opportunities, especially when it comes to executive positions."

There were some areas of the report in which Louisiana performed better. The state came in with a middle-of-the-road ranking for parental leave policy scores, at number 16. Gonzales said Louisiana also has affordable childcare.

"Louisiana has the second lowest child-care costs as a percentage of a women's median income at 12 percent," said Gonzales.

Gonzales said there are things that can be done to improve the state's ranking on future reports. She said that the state should focus on reducing the gender gap pay and promoting women in executive positions. She added that improving childcare and working conditions for moms would also boost Louisiana's performance in some key areas.

"It's important for Louisiana to improve its child-care quality, as it has the 4th worst day-care system and the worst public school system," said Gonzales. "Louisiana can implement programs that would help working moms have piece of mind when leaving their children in the care of others."

The full report can be found here

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