Monday, April 20, 2009
Dad's Not Working, But Mom Is
Michael Keaton in Mr. Mom gives his kids a bath. Cleaning was not his strong suit.
According to an article in today's Financial Times of London, in the United States, a full 80 percent of the layoffs caused by the economic downturn are men, creating the biggest gap between men and women employment rates since 1948, when the rate by gender was first measured.
The Times reports: "Men have been disproportionately hurt because they dominate those industries that have been crushed: nine in every 10 construction workers are male, as are seven in every 10 manufacturing workers. These two sectors alone have lost almost 2.5m jobs. Women, in contrast, tend to hold more cyclically stable jobs and make up 75 per cent of the most insulated sectors of all: education and healthcare."
The effects of this on the household:
1. Less money than if the woman had been laid off. Says the Times: "The widening gap between male and female joblessness means many US families are solely reliant on the income the woman brings in. Since women earn on average 20 per cent less than men, that is putting extra strain on many households."
2. A dad at home that is likely none too happy about his situation, translating into more stress for kids.
3. A mother with now the duty of being the sole breadwinner, putting her under a lot more stress.
Let's hope this is all temporary, and we can return to a trend that sees more mothers able to stay home with young children.