Do Employers Favor Single Workers?
No doubt the recession has hit many people hard, but might married workers be having a more difficult time finding new employment than their unmarried counterparts?
As this article points out, the answer would be “yes” if looking solely at the figures. “Single men and women lost about 5 million jobs during the financial crisis, and have since gained back 90% of them, according to the Labor Department. But married people, who make up a slightly larger part of the adult population, lost even more jobs and have gained far fewer back. Of the 6 million jobs they lost, they've recouped only about 22%.”
One of the first explanations that comes to mind might be that employers prefer single workers. Without familial obligations, perhaps they seem like better bets to work overtime or take fewer days off. Also, putting one person on the company’s health insurance plan would be cheaper than adding someone with a spouse and/or children.
But experts have alternate explanations for the figures. If a spouse’s income is covering necessities, married job seekers may be able to be choosier about what position they accept. They also may be less inclined to relocate for a job or endure a lengthy commute, both of which further limit their options.
In reality, age may have more to do with the numbers than marital status. Workers over the age of 35 have been gaining far fewer jobs than younger people, and since younger workers are more likely to be single, this plays upon the data. Another interesting factor: The overall number of married workers is decreasing. Why? One in five young adults has postponed getting married because of the economy.