More than 41 million American workers are unable to take a paid sick day to care for a sick child and only 12 percent have access to paid leave, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
Working dads in Georgia are no strangers to the multitude of work-family challenges.
That’s according to a new ranking by personal finance site WalletHub in which analysts determined the best and worst states (along with the District of Columbia) for working dads based on four key dimensions: economic and social well-being, work-life balance, child care and health.
Researchers evaluated the dimensions using 22 relevant metrics, including median family income adjusted for the area’s cost of living, parental-leave policy score, child care costs, male uninsured rate, male mental health and more.
Each of the 22 metrics was graded on a 100-point scale. The weighted average across all metrics rendered the total scores for each state and the District.
Data for the study were collected from multiple sources, including the U.S. Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Partnership for Women and Families and others.
Analysts found the best state for working dads is Connecticut, which earned a total score of 72.10 and ranked in the top five for three of the four key dimensions.
The worst state for working dads? Mississippi (33.78). The state ranked dead last for men’s health and 50th in the work-life balance dimension.
Georgia came in at No. 43 on the list with a total score of 40.77, making it the ninth worst state for working dads.
Economic and social well-being: No. 41
Work-life balance: No. 48
Child care: No. 29
Health: No. 43
The state had one of the highest male uninsured rates in America; approximately 20 percent of men in Georgia are without health insurance, according to the U.S. Census’ 2016 numbers.
Vicki Shabo, vice president at the National Partnership for Women and Families, also blames the nation’s workplace policies for increasing work and family conflicts for dads.
The lack of workplace support, Shabo said, “perpetuates inequities in caregiving responsibilities among opposite-sex couples.”
Georgia laws do not require maternity leave pay and neither moms or dads have extensive rights in the state.
While moms may have the option to purchase short-term disability policies prior to conception, a way many women earn maternity leave pay, dads cannot file a short-term disability claim for parental leave.
At least 180 countries in the world have laws guaranteeing some form of paid maternity leave and only nine are without—six Pacific island nations, Papua New Guinea, Surinam and the United States.
In the U.S., three states—California, New Jersey and Rhode Island—now offer paid leave funded through payroll taxes. New York will join them in January 2018.
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
And the worst:
- West Virginia
- New Mexico
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.