ABC network’s “Modern Family” is popular and supposedly reflective of how the American family has changed. However, absent from the antics and complications of living in our society today are the hardships of our recovering economy that has left good jobs behind and workers out of the job market.

According to new Labor Department data, U.S. families haven’t recovered from the recession as indicated by the percentage of families where at least unemployed member still can’t find work. That number has fallen by over 1 million from 2013 to 2014, but at 8 percent, it’s still above the pre-recession high of 6.3 percent in 2007.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, the recession reshaped the role of breadwinner for families. Overall, mothers who work outside the home are working more than the general population – especially those with grown kids. The number of stay-at-home dads peaked in 2009, but has been falling steadily since. There are now fewer households with a stay-at-home mother as in 1.3 million households the mother is employed but that the dad is not. In 2009, that number skyrocketed to nearly 1.8 million households. Conversely, in 7.2 million households, the dad is employed but the mother is not – a fall from 7.6 million in 2007.

When you examine race we see that minority families experienced a spike in the number of households where one member is unemployed in 2009, during the recession. However, black and Hispanic families have yet to see those unemployment levels fall back to pre-recession levels compared with white and Asian families.

This is story that hasn’t changed much. Over a year ago, Pew reported on the growing stay-at-home-dads phenomenon finding that in 2012, there were 2 million U.S. fathers who lived with their children but did not work outside the home, nearly double the 1.1 million in 1989. Of America’s stay-at-home parents last year, 16% were fathers and 84% were mothers, compared with 10 percent and 90 percent in 1989.

Pew attributed the pick-up in stay-at-home fathers to high unemployment tied to the recession, but suggested that a long-term rise may also be due to increased willingness among men to play the role of primary caregiver. Apparently, one in five stay-at-home fathers (21 percent) said the main reason they’re home is to care for their home and family – a four-fold increase from just 5% in 1989.

If dads are choosing to stay at home because they want to be caregivers, that is laudable. As with a woman who makes the choice to put her career on hold to have a family, we should appreciate the choice he has made.

Still, the problem for many men and women is that they haven’t made this choice; they are forced to stay at home because they simply can’t find employment. President Obama claims that his “Middle Class Economics” policies are the antidote to problem. Yet, they’re doing nothing to address the unemployment that too many Americans still face. The unemployment rate is 5.5 percent but that doesn’t count Americans who are working part-time when they want full-time work. It also leaves out the millions of discouraged workers who have dropped out of the job market. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) is little changed at 2.6 million people.

Policies that introduce new regulatory burdens and drive the costs of labor higher do no good for the moms and dads who want to go to work to support their families.

Don’t tell that to an Administration that spins job losses caused by minimum wage hikes as an opportunity to stay at home with kids. Just ask those moms and dads how many of them would rather have a job outside of the home then be forced to stay at home. The difference is force versus choice.