Why Did Single Women Suffer More During The Recession Than Married Women?

Taken from here.



The notion that women are set to become the prime breadwinners in America has taken the media by storm this week. Liza Mundy’s book “The Richer Sex” is on the cover of Time magazine. In 25 years, Mundy writes, women are going to be out-earning men. But here’s some new info that complicates that rosy picture: During the recession, single women fared much worse than married women. Why?

The data comes from the New York Times, which starts by explaining that overall, men lost more jobs during the recession that women; some people called it a “mancession” because of this. Mainly that’s because many of the disappearing jobs were in male-dominated industries like construction and manufacturing.
Now that we’re in an economic recovery (knock on wood), men are gaining jobs back at a higher rate than women, which is to expected.

But there’s something interesting that goes on when you look at the numbers for just women: Single women lost jobs during the recession at a much faster pace than married women. Employment rates fell 4.7 percentage points for unmarried female heads of household, and just 1.6% for married women.
Some of this could be because some married women who hadn’t been working before had to take on new jobs when their husbands lost work. But according to the Times, this can’t explain the entire gap.

Is this about discrimination against single people? Or is because increasingly, it’s upper-middle class educated women who are likelier to get married (and who are also more employable)? Or some other reason?

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