Steadying the Foundation: Maternal Job Stability, Safety Net Programs & Young Children’s Health

The Great Recession caused many American families to lose their jobs or have their work hours reduced. Low-income working mothers were hit particularly hard. This brief examines how maternal job loss and/or reduced work hours (job instability) increase risk of poor health for young children and their mothers. It documents how two of the largest federal safety net programs – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and unemployment insurance (UI) – can soften the impact of job instability. State and federal policies should promote job stability to foster economic security and promote better health for employed mothers with young children.