Women as Breadwinners With Half a Loaf
A report was issued today from the Pew Research Center that looks at the male versus female population between the ages of 30 and 44, and the relative changes that have occurred between 1970 and 2007 in employment, income and education.
An article by David Crary of the Associated Press came out today, concluding from the report that "More Men are Getting an Economic Boost from Marriage."
The report compares the worlds of 1970 with 2007 — an almost 40-year span — and on the face of it, that announcement may be correct. However, I don't believe that men as a whole should be jumping up and down over their added marital earnings, nor should women feel as though they have hit their income stride.
Digging deeper into the facts and figures, and focusing more on the present and less on the past, the Pew Report states that 22% of husbands in 2007 had wives who earned more than they did. This is not a huge number. The researchers conducting the report also noted that the current economic downturn is having a further impact on this relationship because men are losing jobs faster than women. The loss of manufacturing jobs in particular has negatively affected the male population.
Now for the bad news on the female front:
According to a 2009 U.S. Census Bureau report, women are earning full-time salaries equal to approximately 78% of what men earn.
According to 2008 U.S. Census Bureau figures:
• 43% of all U.S. residents age 18 or older are unmarried.
• Of the 11.5 million single parents living with their children, 85% are single mothers.
• The U.S. poverty rate in 2008 was 13.2% of the population, or 40 million people.