“If history is a good guide, it is likely that wives’ share of total family earnings will not return to pre-recession levels, but rather, the Great Recession will serve to propel wives’ contributions higher. It is likely that wives will remain in the labor force even after their husbands return to work, as many families have lost ground due to diminished savings, housing values, and retirement accounts.
Thus, it is critical to pay attention to the implications of wives as breadwinners for families and the workplace,” said Kristin Smith, family demographer with the Carsey Institute and research assistant professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire.
Smith’s new research is presented in the Carsey Institute brief “Recessions Accelerate Trend of Wives as Breadwinners.”
Smith also looked at previous recessions and found that they substantially accelerate the trend of increased reliance on wives’ earnings. In all three recessions since 1988, annual increases in employed wives’ share of total family earnings rose substantially.
This reliance on wives’ earnings is particularly important when the husband’s education level is taken into consideration. Smith found that employed wives’ share of total family earnings is higher and more responsive to economic downturns when the husband has a high school degree or less compared with a college degree.
According to Smith, working families were already under stress before the recession from increased time spent working, inflexible workplaces that have not kept pace with changing families, and the lack of policy supports.
“Policies to support working families, such as paid sick leave and paid family medical leave, affordable quality child care, livable wages, and measures that increase workplace flexibility, could help reduce the work and family conflict that many men and women experience. In addition, there is an obvious need for continued job creation, continued support for long-term unemployment, and expanded public assistance and food stamps to help families during this economic recovery,” she said.
The complete Carsey Institute report about this research is available at http://carseyinstitute.unh.edu/publication/recessions-accelerate-trend-wives-breadwinners.
This analysis is based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS) March Supplements and Annual Social and Economic Supplements Integrated Public Use Microdata Series files compiled by the Minnesota Population Center from 1989 to 2012.
The Carsey Institute conducts policy research on vulnerable children, youth, and families and on sustainable community development. The institute gives policy makers and practitioners the timely, independent resources they need to effect change in their communities. For more information about the Carsey Institute, go to www.carseyinstitute.unh.edu.
The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.GRAPHICS
Lori Wright | Newswise
Is there a bubble in the art market?
07.01.2016 | Universität Luxemburg - Université du Luxembourg
Finance: Belief in higher returns from private equity may be misplaced
13.10.2015 | Universität Luxemburg - Université du Luxembourg
Exceeding critical temperature limits in the Southern Ocean may cause the collapse of ice sheets and a sharp rise in sea levels
A future warming of the Southern Ocean caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere may severely disrupt the stability of the West...
Indications of light-induced lossless electricity transmission in fullerenes contribute to the search for superconducting materials for practical applications.
Superconductors have long been confined to niche applications, due to the fact that the highest temperature at which even the best of these materials becomes...
Researchers at King’s College London and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom have for the first time demonstrated a direct link between the Wbp2 gene and progressive hearing loss. The scientists report that the loss of Wbp2 expression leads to progressive high-frequency hearing loss in mouse as well as in two clinical cases of children with deafness with no other obvious features. The results are published in EMBO Molecular Medicine.
The scientists have shown that hearing impairment is linked to hormonal signalling rather than to hair cell degeneration. Wbp2 is known as a transcriptional...
Pollens, the bane of allergy sufferers, could represent a boon for battery makers: Recent research has suggested their potential use as anodes in lithium-ion batteries.
"Our findings have demonstrated that renewable pollens could produce carbon architectures for anode applications in energy storage devices," said Vilas Pol, an...
Automobiles increase the mobility of their users. However, their maneuverability is pushed to the limit by cramped inner city conditions. Those who need to...
09.02.2016 | Event News
02.02.2016 | Event News
26.01.2016 | Event News
09.02.2016 | Event News
09.02.2016 | Materials Sciences
09.02.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering