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Source: “Life Inc.” blog on Today.MSNBC.com, Published August 18 2012

Hot Topics: Moms are bearing the brunt of recession, study shows

Though the media has focused on the plight of unemployed dads, it’s moms who are suffering the most in the current recession, a new study shows.

The study, which looked at the outcomes for laid-off workers across the United States, found that married women with kids spent more time in-between jobs than married dads.

Making matters worse for the moms was the big pay cut they took once they finally found a job: On average moms lost $175 per week more than dads, according to the study, which was presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.

For the study, co-author Michelle Moroto, an assistant professor in the sociology department at the University of Alberta, scrutinized four sets of data from the Displaced Workers Supplement, a nationally representative survey conducted by the Census Bureau every other year.

The 2010 survey, for example, included nearly 4,400 displaced workers (people who had been laid off or lost a job because of a plant closing), who took an average of 17 weeks to find a new job.

When the researchers broke down the data according to marital and parental status, they found that moms experienced a significant “motherhood penalty” while fathers got a “daddy bonus.”

Moroto’s data doesn’t offer explanations as to why moms are taking such a big hit, but there have been hints from experimental studies.