The number of women making more money than their spouses is on the rise, and the recession has contributed to the shift in earning power, according to recent statistics from the Labor Department.
In 2007, nearly 26 percent of wives earned more than their husbands when both worked. Among all married couples, including those where the husband isn’t working, 33.5 percent of women earned more than men, said MSNBC.com.
Significantly more men than women have lost their job during the recession. Of the 7 million unemployed people in the country, nearly three-quarters are male.
While more wives are becoming the primary breadwinner in their households, women on average earn 77 cents to every dollar a man makes, according to a study by the Families and Work Institute.
Another study found that the majority of both men and women said they are “very comfortable” with a wife earning more than a husband, but many couples say the situation can present some problems. Some women feel guilty about spending less time with their children; and men, whose self-esteem is often tied to their jobs, can feel confused and depressed by the new family dynamic.
But for most families, staying afloat financially trumps other issues.
“I’m very glad I didn’t listen to all those teachers in the ’70s (who said), ‘Oh, don’t worry, your husband will take care of you. Oh, don’t worry about getting an education,’” computer programmer Beth Klingensmith, 45, told MSNBC.com.
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