This Father’s Day, for working Florida dads, a mixed bag

While personal finance website Wallethub found Florida a mixed bag for working dads this father’s day, in the end, the state does reasonably well in some of the best metrics. Mitch Traphagen Photo

By MITCH TRAPHAGEN

According to personal finance website Wallethub, with Father’s Day approaching, nearly 93 percent of dads with young kids are in the workplace. From Wallethub’s survey of the “2017 Best and Worst States for Working Dads,” Florida fathers experience a mixed bag on the job.

The days of Ward Cleaver, coming home to a housewife in pearls on the late ’50s television show, “Leave it to Beaver,” have long ended. The majority of households nationwide now depend upon two incomes. Regardless, the pressure remains on fathers to provide a living for their families, as well as being a full partner in parenting duties.

First the good news: Working Florida dads do better than national average on both life expectancy and are among the best for the lowest number of deaths due to heart disease (per 100,000 males). Florida scores seventh best among all states for the average length of a workday (in hours) for men.

In other words, Florida working fathers tend to live longer, suffer less from heart disease and have a shorter workday than national averages — all things that work hand in hand in promoting a healthy work-life balance.

The state’s working dads didn’t fare so well in other areas, however. Florida scored only ahead of Texas in the rate of uninsured males. The Sunshine State is 41st in the percentage of children under the age of 18 living in poverty and with a father present. Which also appears to directly tie in with the state’s 41st ranking of median-family income adjusted for the cost of living and a third identical ranking for the cost of child care, adjusted for median-family income.

On the plus side for the latter, Florida did slightly better than most on the quality of that child care.

Overall, Wallethub’s findings showed that Florida ranked 33rd in the scale of best states for working fathers. The state did fare better than most on the metric of “work-life balance.”

Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Delaware, Wisconsin, the District of Columbia and New Hampshire took the top 10 as the best states. Louisiana, New Mexico, West Virginia, Nevada and Mississippi fared the worst.

Being a large, rapidly growing and highly diverse state certainly impacts the numbers for Florida. Many of the low points are known issues, and with a growing economy, some are likely to improve organically.

And with that, the work-life balance is, in the end, among the most important. Florida dads are living longer providing the opportunity for continuing improvement and growth.

On Father’s Day, it’s best to have “good old dad” still around, after all.

For more information about the Wallethub survey, visit tinyurl.com/observer-dads.

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