Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Despite End of Recession, Family Reliance on Wives’ Income Remains at Record Level

05.12.2012
Despite the end of the Great Recession, American families still rely on the income of wives at record levels, with employed wives’ contribution to total family income holding steady at 47 percent, which is its highest level in decades, according to new research from the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire.

“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.”

From 2008 to 2009, employed wives’ contribution to total family earnings jumped from 45 percent to 47 percent – the largest single-year increase during the past 23 years – where it held steady in 2010 and 2011, Smith said.

“The massive job losses during the 18 months of the Great Recession, primarily in male-dominated industries such as manufacturing and construction, coupled with sluggish job growth during the recovery, have left many families with lower earnings and have placed an unprecedented importance on wives’ earnings to keep families afloat. The Great Recession, in particular, substantially accelerated the trend of an increased reliance on employed wives’ earnings,” Smith said.

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
Employed Wives’ Percent Contribution to Total Family Earnings, 1988-2011
http://www.unh.edu/news/img/wives_fig1.jpg
Credit: The Carsey Institute
Employed Wives’ Percent Contribution to Total Family Earnings by Husband’s Education, 1988-2011
http://www.unh.edu/news/img/wives_fig2.jpg
Credit: The Carsey Institute

Lori Wright | Newswise
Further information:
http://www.unh.edu

More articles from Business and Finance:

nachricht Preferential trade agreements enhance global trade at the expense of its resilience
17.02.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht How Strong Brands Translate into Money
15.11.2016 | Kühne Logistics University - Wissenschaftliche Hochschule für Logistik und Unternehmensführung

All articles from Business and Finance >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>