All Articles Tagged "income gap"
Women aren’t just in the workplace in greater numbers these days. They’re also the primary breadwinner with greater frequency. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 40 percent of American women earn more than their husbands. A report from the Center for American Progress in April found that about 70 percent of women in low-income families (income in the bottom 20 percent) are the main household earners. It’s about half for middle-income families. And one-third for among the top 20 percent.
This may sound like progress (and for women, it is), but it’s putting a strain on some marriages. Despite growing up in the midst of the women’s movement, men can still feel anger or shame at not “bringing home the bacon.”
“I don’t think so much about gender roles, but I do feel angry and helpless because I can’t financially support the family unit,” one stay-at-home dad tells The Wall Street Journal.
However, the stress of this gender role swap is lessened if men make enough money should they need to step up to the breadwinner role.
“Pressure eases up—and perceptions seem to change—when husbands’ salaries are enough to support the family should the wives’ pay evaporate,” the story goes on to say.
So men don’t feel quite so much anger — or perhaps stress — when they know they can step in to help their families financially if it’s necessary to do so. Other men would prefer not to occupy the stay-at-home role at all. All of this is indicative of a culture that’s still in flux when it comes to gender roles. Even as women take more significant roles in terms of household income, the income gap persists, especially among women of color. Attitudes and societal norms haven’t kept up with the realities on the ground.
The economic recession and the need for someone, anyone, in the home to earn money for the family will help move this issue along. In the meantime, women must work with their partners and spouses to make sure that the family is making ends meet without stepping on anyone’s ego.
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For those who are unemployed and struggling to make ends meet, the obvious solution to their problem would be finding a job. While it certainly helps, those with a job know that it can still be tough to have basic economic security.
Though an estimated 190,000 jobs were added in March, according to the Labor Department, many of those jobs were created in retail, hospitality and home health care, which often do not pay enough to cover all basic needs such as housing, utilities, health care and transportation, reports The New York Times.
To address this issue, Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW), a nonprofit group, conducted a study based off of previous research about the income needed to take care of basic needs, as outlined by the nation’s poverty line. WOW’s study extends on this previous research to determine the income needed for economic stability, and takes into account saving for retirement and emergencies.
The national poverty line states an annual income of $10,830 is needed for a single person and $22,050 for a family of four. WOW’s study shows that to cover basic expenses and to be able to save, a single worker needs an income of $30,012, while a family of four needs $67,920 annually.
The National Urban League recognizes the need for jobs and job security is especially dire in the black community, as the joblessness rate for black America is almost 16 percent, twice as high as the overall rate. The organization recently released their annual report entitled, “The State of Black America,” which has 12 new ideas for job creation, including summer jobs and “green empowerment zones.”
National Urban League president and CEO Marc Morial told NPR that the Urban League will continue to advocate their concerns and ideas to Congress, in hopes, Morial says, for a “targeted economic policy.”
(Washington Examiner) — The District’s wealthiest community earns more than three times the household income of the city’s poorest area — a massive income gap that has grown wider over the past five years. D.C.’s wealthiest residents live in the neighborhoods between Georgetown and Friendship Heights, an area rich with million-dollar homes, lived in by some of the city’s top wage-earners. The median income of households there is more than $103,000 annually, according to the Census Bureau’s latest American Community Survey data.