Employment rates for single mothers with dependent children have been rising, partly because of welfare reform and expansions in the Earned Income Tax Credit. This paper examines this trend and implications for future retirement security. The results show that employment and earnings gains for single mothers during the late 1990s will translate into modestly higher Social Security benefits and better retirement outcomes when they reach later life, assuming these trends persist. However, most single mothers will fare worse in retirement than other women, primarily because they generally earned low wages over their lifetimes and many lack financial support from spouses.
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