Families Continue to Rely on Wives As Breadwinners Post-Recession
This brief presents an analysis of the increased role employed wives played in family economic stability prior to, during, and after the Great Recession, focusing on changes in the contribution of employed wives’ earnings to family earnings by state, region, metropolitan areas, and nonmetro residence. The data in this brief come from the 1989−2013 Annual Social and Economic Supplements of the Current Population Survey. Authors Kristin Smith and Andrew Schaefer report that employed wives’ share of family earnings increased from 44 percent in 2007 to 47 percent in 2009 and remained unchanged at 47 percent through 2012. In addition, from the pre-recession to the post-recession period, thirty-seven states experienced increases in employed wives’ share of family earnings. Only thirteen states experienced no change in employed wives’ contribution to family earnings. No states experienced a decline in employed wives’ share of family earnings. The results highlight a continued need for policies that support working families.