More Australian families have both parents in the workforce

With both parents in the households working, Tanya Losanno admits the family schedule can be a bit hectic.
Nanjing Night Net

“Sometimes you’re rushing home with the kids from their activities to get dinner on the table, and it can be hectic at times, but it’s worth the challenges when you can be there for [your children] at school assemblies,” she said.

Brent Fuller and Tanya Losanno with their children Max, 8, and Frankie, 6. Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

The Narrabundah resident is employed in several jobs, working as a marriage celebrant, front of house staff at the Canberra Theatre Centre and occasionally doing work as a comedian, while her husband Brent Fuller is employed as a contractor.

While Mr Fuller’s job is a typical nine-to-five role, work for Ms Losanno is usually at nights or on weekends, meaning both can share in parenting responsibilities for their two children Max, 8, and Frankie, 6.

There’s been an increase in the number of ACT families with both parents in the workforce. Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

“It’s fitting our working lives around our family, and that means that our family can get the best of everything,” Ms Losanno said.

“It also means the added benefit of not having to pay for before- and after-school care, which is expensive.”

Over the years, Ms Losanno said there’s been a shift in the number of families who have both parents in the workforce.

“I don’t think I’ve spoken to anyone where both parents are not working,” she said.

Tanya admits sometimes the family schedule can be challenging, but is worth it. Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

“There’s definitely been a shift since I’ve grown up. Back then it was very different. The mums were at home and the dads were at work, and now that’s all changed.”

New figures released this week from the Australian Bureau of Statistics back up Ms Losanno’s view, showing an increase in the number of Australian families where both parents are working.

Statistics show 64 per cent of families nationally that have two parents have both parents in the workforce, compared to 59 per cent a decade ago.

The bureau’s chief economist Bruce Hockman said women returning to the workforce after having children was a key reason for the increase.

“The increasing proportion of couple families with children where both parents work is an ongoing trend we have been observing for a decade, as female participation rates in the labour market have increased to the current record high of around 60 per cent,” he said.

“In June 2017, 25 per cent of couple families with children had both parents working full time, which increased from 21 per cent a decade ago.”

Out of the 111,600 families in the ACT, 28,500 of them have both parents working, an increase of more than 2 per cent from than 27,900 families in 2016.

The number of families where both parents work has increased every year since 2014, after a slight drop in 2013.

Nationally, there are more than 3.9 million families with both parents working, rising by 58,200 – or 1.9 per cent – from 2016 figures.

The bureau also reported the number of jobless families, either with couples or lone parents, remained steady over the decade at 12 per cent.

The figures from the bureau coincides with research released by the Australian National University this week showing six out 10 working couples had struggled to manage family commitments, with children at greatest risk where both parents experienced conflict between family time and their job.

Ms Losanno said the rise in the number of families where both parents are working could be due to many people choosing not to start a family until later in life.

“I didn’t get married until I was 35, so I always worked and looked after myself, so it was hard to suddenly stop work,” she said.

“People already spend a majority of their life in work, and it’s hard to stop.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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