Single moms least likely to have stable income

Social assistance increases stability: StatsCan

Single mothers have the least stable income among all families, according to a new report.

The Statistics Canada report found that between 1999 and 2004, instability in earnings among single mothers aged 30 to 34 was almost twice that of two-parent families with a husband in the same age group.

"Without a second adult earner, lone mothers have a limited ability to smooth the flow of earnings," Statistics Canada said.

The report, part of Statistics Canada's Perspectives on Labour and Income, also found that social assistance is the most important factor in increasing earnings stability.

Income instability also climbed for single mothers under 40 years of age between the years of 1984 to 1989 and the 1999 to 2004 period.

In contrast, the study found no evidence of increasing earnings instability among two-parent families or among single men.

Single women had more stable incomes than single mothers, but still less stable than two-parent families.

The report stated that employment insurance (EI) and the tax system increase income stability, however EI had more of an affect on single individuals without children while social assistance had more of an affect for single mothers.

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