Policy Changes, Employment, and Single Parenthood in Finland
AbstractThe labor supply of mothers is in? uenced by womens preferences and labor market
conditions, as well as by family policy packages which enable families to reconcile
work and family life. This article deepens the understanding about why Finnish single
mothers are facing higher unemployment risks than mothers in two-parent families. The
main question is how the changes in the Finnish family policy system have affected the
economic and labor market status of single mothers in the last part of the 1990s. Have
the changes in family policy affected their entry / re-entry into the labor market? Or
can these changes in employment rate be explained by mothers personal decisions.
Single parents were more vulnerable compared to partnered mothers in parental leave
reforms and in the Family reform package in 1994. Changes in the labor market have
had an impact on the situation of mothers with small children. One group of mothers
can enjoy the full provision of leaves, bene? ts and job security, but an increased share
of mothers have become dependent on only basic bene? ts. In this respect, the inequality
among mothers has increased.