The New York Times‘s “Economix” blog recently published some shocking figures from — and based on – the latest Census Bureau information.
These days, it’s common for both marriage partners to be employed. Despite the struggle for home/work balance that comes along with that arrangement in many cases, there is a definite upside in a recession: If one of you gets laid off, there’s still another income to rely on. The family’s not totally screwed.
But what about families who only have one income to begin with? And others where both wife and husband get the axe? Here’s what the Times found:
Based on my own calculations, 11,454,000 married couples had neither spouse working in March 2009. That’s 18.8 percent, or nearly one in five, married couples.
A year earlier, 17.5 percent of married couples had neither spouse working …
There was a slightly bigger increase in the portion of married-couple families that were reliant on the wife’s earnings alone, to about 9.9 percent in 2009 from about 8.2 percent of all married couples in 2008. This makes sense, given that men have borne the brunt of the layoffs in this recession.
Holy cow, ONE IN FIVE married couples with no work in March of ’09. Do these numbers accurately reflect what you see around you?