NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Unemployment Threatens Family Stability

September 30, 2014

Two new studies illustrate how long-term unemployment hurts not only workers, but their families, reports Eric Pianin at the Fiscal Times.

A report from the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development chronicles how the long-term unemployed (those out of work for more than six months) have struggled during the recovery. One in every three unemployed Americans had been unemployed for more than six months as of August 2014.

Not only have these workers struggled to find jobs, but their families have been significantly impacted, beyond direct financial effects. According to a new study from the Urban Institute, which analyzed families with children up to the age of nine, unemployment threatens family stability. According to their research:

  • In families with two married parents, the possibility of divorce doubled upon the unemployment of one of the parents.
  • In families with single mothers, children were much more likely to live without their mother in the year following her job loss, compared to children whose mother was working.

Pianin notes that the percent of unmarried American adults is at a historic level. According to a study from the Pew Research Center, when asked what they were looking for in a spouse, 78 percent of unmarried women and 46 percent of unmarried men said they were looking for "a steady job."

Source: Eric Pianin, "New Evidence of How Unemployment Wrecks Families," Fiscal Times, September 29, 2014.


Browse more articles on Economic Issues