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Maternity leave in the United States is complicated, to put it mildly. The United States remains the only developed country in the world with no paid leave for new moms after child birth.
This means there is no one standard policy for everyone. With no paid leave at the national level, it us up to companies to develop their own policies and procedures. Or not.
In a job market where maternity leave is a benefit- and not a right- certain professions are far more likely to receive it than others.
We scraped over 1 million job listings to find the jobs where workers are most (and least) likely to receive paid maternity leave.
Best Jobs For Maternity Leave
Above you can see all the job titles where over 10% of job listings mention paid maternity leave. Unsurprisingly, the list is dominated by higher-paying jobs that require a decent bit of work experience or advanced education.
Similarly, many of these jobs are in the tech field. Tech companies are known for having hefty benefits– and that often extends to maternity and parental leave.
Worst Jobs For Maternity Leave
Above you can see all the job titles where less than 1% of job listings mention paid maternity leave.
The two job titles with 0% are cook and server– two common and lower paying than average job titles.
However, they are far from the only low paying jobs on the list: Including Material Handler, Machine Operator, and Housekeeper. All of these jobs pay on average under $30,000 a year.
How We Determined This
We turned to our database of job listings to evaluate which jobs are most friendly for maternity leave, scraping over 1.5 million job listings for keywords.
The higher the percentage of job listings with keywords, the more jobs in the field offering maternity leave benefits.
While we cannot guarantee the job listings without keywords do not offer paid maternity leave, overall maternity leave is a valuable (and surprisingly rare) enough benefit that most companies that offer it use it as a recruiting tool.
Class And Income Impact Availability Of Leave
Higher paying jobs are more likely to offer paid maternity leave. In the wild west of American maternity leave, women are left to their own devices to find a job from the comparably small pool of companies that offer paid maternity leave.
Companies that offer this in-demand benefit often use it to attract in-demand talent.
However, women of all income levels are often faced with a difficult situation, because ultimately the majority of new mothers in America lack access to paid maternity leave. As you can see from our job listings, even the “best job” only has 30% of job listings touting paid maternity leave.
While the U.S. does guarantee that new mothers receive non-paid leave for 12 weeks, it only covers those who work in companies with 50 or more employee and have worked there at least 1 year. This means only about 1/2 of women qualify for the unpaid FMLA leave- if they can afford to take it.