In the U.S., More Fathers are Working but Need Support from Employers

82% Report Higher Job Satisfaction in Family-Friendly Work Environments – How Employers Can Encourage Dads This Father’s Day

From 2017 to 2018, the labor force participation rate of fathers with children under 18 rose from 92.8% to 93.3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But despite the high number of working fathers, 69% of them would change jobs to one that allowed them to spend more time with their children, according to a survey from Promundo and Dove Men+Care.

“I think being a father is probably very hard right now,” said Jan Riggins, an Express Employment Professionals General Manager in Fort Worth, Texas. “There is so much pressure in the community to value the family and to not put work above family, but kids also need to see a strong work ethic and what it’s like to balance work and family responsibilities.”

Echoing her sentiments, 32% of those surveyed said they have missed important events in their child’s life due to work and 40% said they stress about work when spending time with their children. The good news is both fathers and employers can benefit from family-friendly work environments, as 82% of fathers reported higher job satisfaction when they were more involved with their children.

In such a tight labor market, Riggins said companies can entice fathers to rejoin the workforce after spending time as stay-at-home dads with flexible work schedules. This can be one of the many accommodations that helps working parents, including fathers who are single or primary caregivers.

“We have seen more job seekers interested in flexible schedules that allow for after school and daycare pickup,” she said.

Still, among men ages 25 – 54, Terri Greeno, an Express franchise owner in Crystal Lake, Illinois, says some fathers are choosing to stay on the sidelines to wait for the perfect job.

“A decade ago, fathers were doing whatever they could to get work,” she said. “Today, fathers can choose their work.”

David Robb, Director of Marketing at the Express franchise office in Grand Rapids, Michigan, captures the situation.

“The increase in job opportunities and wages are driving more people into the workforce, which is a very good thing,” he said. “But, there are still a large number of working-age men who are sitting on the sidelines waiting for that perfect job or waiting for a job with pay as high as their last job.”

While that perfect job may not exist, employers can create a positive company culture for their employees, and potential ones, in this competitive market by offering working fathers the flexibility to invest in the future workforce.

“Any Father’s Day where there are numerous job opportunities for dads out there is a happy Father’s Day,” said Bill Stoller, CEO of Express. “But there’s work to be done with some dads on the sidelines-because their participation in the workforce is not only about their success but also about the success of their children.”

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