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Illinois Doing Right by Working Moms

A new analysis shows Illinois ranks near the top of the list when it comes to the cost of childncare and employment opportunities for working mothers. (iStockphoto)
A new analysis shows Illinois ranks near the top of the list when it comes to the cost of childncare and employment opportunities for working mothers. (iStockphoto)
May 5, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – With Mother's Day just around the corner, new research shows Illinois is doing better by working mothers than most of the country.

Out of all 50 states and Washington, D.C., Illinois ranked 6th best on Wallethub's "Best and Worst States for Working Moms" report.

Analyst Jill Gonzalez says Wallethub looked at a variety of state policies and found that Illinois excels in several areas.

"The higher median women's salary adjusted for cost of living at just under $41,000 a year,” she points out. “The gender pay gap is a little bit better than most other states. Women are making just 86 cents on the dollar compared to men."

Nationally, women are making about 79 cents on the dollar compared to men.

But Gonzalez says Illinois' lack of a paid family leave policy is holding it back from earning a higher ranking.

Other findings in the report show that there may be a political component to how working mothers are faring in the states.

Gonzalez says politically left or blue states, including Illinois, tend to adopt more progressive social policies.

"We also looked at red states versus blue states and found that blue states are more friendly to working moms,” she says. “Their average rank here was 21 out of 51, whereas red states came out as 31, so of course below average here, which was interesting."

The report also points out that child care costs in Illinois make up a lower percentage of women's monthly bills compared with other states.


Brandon Campbell, Public News Service - IL