For the first time in U.S. history most new mothers are receiving paid maternity leave. The U.S. Census Bureau tracked 3.1 million first-time mothers, who worked while pregnant between 2006 and 2008, and found that 51 percent received paid leave. That's a leap from 42 percent between 1996 and 2000, and the highest since the bureau began collecting these numbers in 1981.
Two-thirds of mothers worked while pregnant in this period, the survey found. Only 13 percent of college-educated mothers quit their jobs during or soon after pregnancies. But half of the women without a college degree did, no doubt because a much greater proportion of them did not have paid leave.