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Florida gets D in study of support for working parents

Published May 9, 2012

Florida does such a poor job of supporting parents in the workforce that it earned a grade of "D" in a new report by the National Partnership for Women & Families.

The partnership said its state-by-state analysis, released for Mother's Day, shows how little the nation supports and protects working mothers and fathers when a new child arrives, and Florida's policies are among the worst.

The report called the situation in Florida "striking considering that women make up 48 percent of the workforce in the state, and 72 percent of Florida children live in families in which all parents work. Nearly 212,000 Florida women gave birth in the 2009-2010 year alone (the most recent data available). Without access to some wages or job security, these workers and families often have no choice but to sacrifice much-needed income or their jobs when a new child arrives. This causes them to risk their economic security and their health."

The partnership said its past research "shows that paid leave promotes the health and economic security of families, reduces reliance on public assistance programs, and benefits businesses through improved worker loyalty and reduced turnover." The new analysis gave A grades to just two states, California and Connecticut. Eighteen states, including most of the Southeast, got F grades.

The full report is available at NationalPartnership.org/ExpectingBetter.

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