WalletHub's Papadimitriou: DC Best for Working Moms, La. Worst

Tuesday, 06 May 2014 07:30 PM

By Joe Battaglia

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Among the best places to live as a single mother is Washington, D.C., while the worst is Louisiana, says an analysis conducted by a personal finance social networking firm.

Odysseas Papadimitriou, CEO of WalletHub.com, told J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV that his company evaluated the attractivenes of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., based on nine metrics deemed significant to a working mother's life.

Those metrics included: day care quality; child care costs adjusted for the average woman's salary; access to pediatric services; quality of public schools; gender pay gap; the ratio of female to male executives; parental leave policies; the average length of a woman's workday; and the average commute time to and from work.

According to Papadimitriou, D.C. rated extremely high despite the fact that the cost of day care in in the District of Columbia ranked 49th out of 51 and the area scored low in average commute time and the length of the average workday.

"Because there is a lot of money, because there is a lot of wealth, the cost of daycare, as a percentage of a woman's income, is almost a quarter of a woman's income . . . and that brought D.C. to 49th," he said.

"But on the other hand, you have the District of Columbia being top-rated in a number of other metrics, including the gender pay gap, where . . . women earn 95 percent of what men earn and that's [the] best rating in the nation. The ratio of female to male executives is number two, the number of pediatricians per capita is number one, the state policy regarding parental leave is number three in the country."

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Papadimitriou said Louisiana was ranked worst in the country because of near-bottom ratings in every metric other than the cost of childcare.

"We looked at nine different metrics, and in four of them Louisiana almost got the bottom spot," he said. "Those were the quality of the public school system, which is 49th in the nation, the number of pediatricians per capita, that's 43rd in the country, the state of daycare quality rankings, that's number 48, the quality of the daycare system, and the gender pay gap, believe it or not, it's 50th in the country.

"The only bright spot in terms of all the rankings is the cost of childcare as a percentage of a woman's income, which Louisiana was the seventh-best in the country."

Generally speaking, Papadimitriou said working mothers in America "still have a significant uphill battle."

"In some respects it is becoming easier because there has been greater awareness to the pay gap between women and men, state policies seem to be improving," he said. "But on the other hand, it's becoming harder as well in certain dimensions.

"Everyone's lives are becoming more and more stressful; they're not becoming less stressful, unfortunately. The job marketplace is even more competitive, especially coming out of a recession like the one we went through."

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