Women now comprise nearly half of the nation's workers, and 70% of mothers with children under age 18 are in the labor force. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that median earnings for women are only 81% of men's earnings, a gap that has persisted for several years. Policy makers across the political spectrum have forwarded proposals to shore up economic security for working families. Much of the national discussion has focused on policies related to income, such as minimum wage, tax credits, salary transparency, job training, and the wage gap, all of which are important issues for women. For many working women, economic security also encompasses health issues, including workplace benefits such as insurance coverage, paid sick leave, and paid family leave. It is also related to women's roles as mothers and the primary managers of their children's health care. This brief presents data on employer benefits and women's roles in caring for families' health from the 2017 Kaiser Women's Health Survey, a nationally representative survey of women and men ages 18 to 64, conducted in the summer and fall of 2017.
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