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The New Breadwinners: 2010 Update

The New Breadwinners: 2010 Update

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Sarah Jane Glynn describes how women are now either breadwinners or co-breadwinners in most families.
Sarah Jane Glynn describes how women are now either breadwinners or co-breadwinners in most families.

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Published by: Center for American Progress on Apr 16, 2012
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1Center or American Progress |  The New Breadwinners: 2010 Update
 The New Breadwinners: 2010 Update
Rates of Women Supporting Their Families EconomicallyIncreased Since 2007
Sarah Jane GlynnApril 2012
In 2009 he Cener or American Progress released “Te New Breadwinners,” a chaperin
Te Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything 
.
1
Te repor describes how  womens movemen ou o he home and ino he paid labor orce has changed every-hing abou how our amilies live and work oday. While our lives have changed as aresul o his dramaic ransormaion, he insiuions surrounding us have no neces-sarily kep up. In “Te New Breadwinners,” CAP Senior Economis Heaher Boushey illusraed how women have made grea srides and are now more likely o be economi-cally responsible or hemselves and heir amilies, bu here is a sill a long way o go.In his brie we updae he numbers rom “Te New Breadwinners” o reec he mosrecen daa available based on amily income, race, age, and moherhood, and show how he rends idenied in he 2009 piece have only grown sronger in he ensuing years. We nd ha here are more wives, and women generally, supporing heir amilieseconomically now han ever beore—and here could no be a more imporan ime oensure ha working women receive he pay hey deserve. Te ypical woman only earnsan average o 77 cens o he male dollar.
2
I is no dicul o imagine how many more women would be breadwinners—and how much beter o our amilies would be—i he gender wage gap were closed.
Overall increase in women breadwinners and its effects on society
In July 2009, jus afer he Naional Bureau o Economic Research says he recessionechnically ended, women made up hal (49.9 percen) o all workers on U.S. payrollsor he rs ime in our naion’s hisory.
3
While par o his was undoubedly due o seep job losses by men, even now in he mids o he so-called “Man-covery,
4
women sillcomprise abou hal o U.S. payrolls (49.3 percen as o February 2012).
5
 
 
2Center or American Progress |  The New Breadwinners: 2010 Update
Some groups o women, paricularly women o color, immigrans, and low-income women, have always had high levels o labor orce paricipaion. Bu in 1969 women were only abou a hird o he workorce (35.3 percen). Womens increased labor orceparicipaion has been parially abou personal choices and parially abou economics, bu regardless o he moivaing acor, i is no somehing ha is likely o change. Teollowing analysis will show ha women’s wages are making up ever-larger porions o amily budges, making a large-scale deparure rom he paid labor orce unlikely. As a resul o his ransormaion, mos children oday are growing up in amilies wihou a ull-ime, say-a-home caregiver. In 2010, among amilies wih children,nearly hal (44.8 percen) were headed by wo working parens and anoher one in our(26.1 percen) were headed by a single paren. As a resul, ewer han one in hree (28.7percen) children now have a say-a-home paren, compared o more han hal (52.6percen) in 1975, only a generaion ago.
6
 Te recession led o higher job losses among men, which mean ha in a greaer number o amilies, he husband was unemployed while he wie suppored he amily. In 2010, or hers ime in decades, unemploymen was concenraed among husbands raher han wives.
7
 In no small par due o higher male unemploymen, alongside he longsanding rends,in 2010 in nearly wo-hirds (63.9 percen) o amilies wih children women were eiher breadwinners or co-breadwinners.
8
(see Figure 1) While his overall rae has no changed muchsince he las economic peak in 2007 (whenraes sood a 62.8 percen), i masks a moredramaic rend. Te percenage o mohers whoare co-breadwinners—hose working wives bringing home a leas 25 percen o heir am-ily’s oal earnings bu less han heir parner—has acually allen rom 24.4 percen in 2007 o22.5 percen in 2010. A he same ime he raeo breadwinners—hose working wives earningas much or more han heir parners and singlemohers providing he sole income or heir am-ily—has increased rom 38.4 percen in 2007 o41.4 percen in 2010.For he remainder o his brie we dig a litledeeper ino hese numbers and see how hisrend breaks down by amily income, race, age,and moherhood.
FIGURE 1
 Mothers’ labor force participation has dramatically increased
Share of mothers who are breadwinners or co-breadwinners, 1967–2010
0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%
   1   9   6    7    1   9   6   9    1   9    7   1    1   9    7   3    1   9    7   5    1   9    7    7    1   9    7   9    1   9   8   1    1   9   8   3    1   9   8   5    1   9   8    7    1   9   8   9    1   9   9   1    1   9   9   3    1   9   9   5    1   9   9    7    1   9   9   9    2   0   0   1    2   0   0   3    2   0   0   5    2   0   0    7    2   0   0   9 
BreadwinnermothersCo-breadwinnermothers63.9%27.7%22.5%41.4%11.7%16%
Source: Author and Jef Chapman’s analysis o MiriamKing and others, “Integrated Public Use Microdata Series,Current Population Survey: Version 2.0” (Minneapolis,Minnesota: Minnesota Population Center, 2012).
 
3Center or American Progress |  The New Breadwinners: 2010 Update
Family income
Te percenage o working wivesearning as much or more han heirhusbands has increased across allincome groups. (see Figure 2) A hird(33.5 percen) o working wives are breadwinners in amilies wih incomesin he op 20 percen o all amilies(no jus married-couple amilies),up rom jus less han a hird in 2007(31.6 percen) and only one in eigh(12.6 percen) in 1967.
9
Breadwinning wives are even morecommon in amilies wih lowerincomes. Seven in 10 (69.7 percen) working wives earn as much or morehan heir husbands in he botom 20percen o income disribuion or allamilies. And abou hal (45.3 percen)o working wives are breadwinners in amilies in he middle o he income disribuion,up rom 4 in 10 (39.1 percen) in 2007 and only 15.2 percen in 1967.
Race and ethnicity
Te percenage o wives earning asmuch or more han heir husbandsalso increased or all racial and ehnicgroups, wih similar gains or all groups.(see Figure 3) Among Arican Americanamilies, more han hal (53.3 percen)o working wives earned as much ormore han heir husbands in 2010, uprom 45.7 percen in 2007, and markinga dramaic increase rom 1975 when28.7 percen were breadwinners. And abou 4 in 10 working wives were breadwinners in 2010 or boh whie(41 percen) and Hispanic (40.1 per-cen) amilies. Tis is nearly double heraes rom 1975.
FIGURE 2
 There are more women breadwinners in every income group
Percentage of working wives earning as much or more than their husbands,by family income quintile
FIGURE 3
 Women breadwinners on the rise across races and ethnicities
Percentage of working wives earning as much or more than their husbands,by wife’s race/ethnicity
Source: Author and Jef Chapman’s analysis o MiriamKing and others, “Integrated Public Use Microdata Series,Current Population Survey: Version 2.0” (Minneapolis,Minnesota: Minnesota Population Center, 2012).Source: Author and Jef Chapman’s analysis o MiriamKing and others, “Integrated Public Use Microdata Series,Current Population Survey: Version 2.0” (Minneapolis,Minnesota: Minnesota Population Center, 2012).
 
4428.315.213.312.664.147.239.13431.669.755.545.339.233.5
0102030405060 7080Top quintileFourth quintileMiddle quintileSecond quintileBottom quintile201020071967
2010200719750102030405060White, non-HispanicBlack, non-HispanicHispanicOther, non-Hispanic
21.136.841.031.740.345.323.634.640.128.745.753.3

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