I found this article today particularly interesting, especially as a woman in the workforce about to get married (in 30 days, but who’s counting?). In years past, families could look to the women of the household to provide extra income (whether they were already working or not) during times of economic hardship. Not so any longer, according to Congress’s Joint Economic Committee and the Center for Economic and Policity research.
Here is the first part of the article:
“The remarkable fact is that this is going to be the first recession from one peak to the next that we’ve seen a decrease,” said John Schmitt, is a senior economist with the Center for Economic and Policy Research. “We never got back to where we were.”
Women have yet to regain their foothold in the labor force since the 2001 recession. At the business cycle’s peak in March 2001, the employment-population ratio for women 20 years and older, seasonally adjusted, reached 58.8% — a rate that hasn’t been reached since and hit 58.2% in June, according to the Department of Labor.
“It now appears that, unlike in decades past, families can no longer rely on women’s employment to help boost family income during a downturn,” according to the report. “Families are more economically vulnerable as wives are no longer insulating families from economic hardship in times of higher unemployment and falling or stagnant real wages.”
A family relies on the typical wife for more than one-third of its income, according to the report, which added that one-quarter of children are raised in single-mother families that are at particular risk. On Wednesday, the Joint Economic Committee is holding a hearing about the impact of higher household costs and stagnant wages.