May 29, 2013 § 1 Comment
The statistics are staggering! Today, four in ten households with children under 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family. Some 50 years ago, that number was one in ten.
I have been interested in the growth of Breadwinner Wives for some time. The 2010 Census gave us our first glimpse at the growth of this group and now Pew Research has provided us with more information on the growth of Breadwinner Moms. Here are some of Pew’s fascinating findings:
• Two different groups of Breadwinner Moms. The “breadwinner moms” are made up of two very different groups: 5.1 million (37%) are married mothers who have a higher income than their husbands, and 8.6 million (63%) are single mothers.
• Married mothers differ from single moms. Compared with all mothers with children under age 18, married mothers who out-earn their husbands are slightly older, disproportionally white and college educated. Single mothers, by contrast, are younger, more likely to be black or Hispanic, and less likely to have a college degree.
• Women make up almost of half (47%) of the U.S. labor force today, and the employment rate of married mothers with children has increased from 37% in 1968 to 65% in 2011.
• More women want to work full time. The share of mothers saying their ideal situation would be to work full time increased from 20% in 2007 to 32% in 2012. And the share saying they would prefer not to work at all fell from 29% to 20%.
• Mixed emotions about women working. About three-quarters of adults (74%) say the increasing number of women working for pay has made it harder for parents to raise children, and half say that it has made marriages harder to succeed. At the same time, two-thirds say it has made it easier for families to live comfortably.
• Both groups of breadwinner mothers, married and single, have grown in size in the past five decades. Of all households with children younger than 18, the share of married mothers who out-earn their husbands has gone up from 4% in 1960 to 15% in 2011, nearly a fourfold increase. During the same period, the share of families led by a single mother has more than tripled (from 7% to 25%).
- Moms are primary breadwinners in 40% of U.S. households (usatoday.com)
June 22, 2011 § 1 Comment
We have all been reading about the demise of marriage as more singles marry later or not at all. Now this interesting bit of info comes from the Pew Research Center: Millennials (18-29 year olds) value parenthood over marriage.
A 2010 Pew Research survey found that 52% of Millennials say being a good parent is “one of the most important things” in life. Just 30% say the same about having a successful marriage — meaning there is a 22-percentage-point gap in the way Millennials value parenthood over marriage. When the same question was asked of Generation X in 1997, the gap was just seven points.
As you might expect, while parenting is important, many adults don’t think that having two adults in the household is necessary for happy and successful child rearing. Currently 51% of all births to Millennials are born out of wedlock.
There is a gradual change in the behavior of different generations toward marriage. Currently 22% of Millennials are married. At their same age, three-in-ten Gen Xers were married, and four in ten Baby Boomers were married.
What does this mean for marketing? Well, for one thing, marketers shouldn’t depend on the traditional nuclear family shots. Single moms do not want to be talked down to. And it is important to provide them with information that is relevant and helpful to their lifestyle.
September 6, 2010 § Leave a comment
The media dubbed it The Mancession because 82% of Americans who have lost their jobs are men, but it is women who are having to deal with it. Households continue to be stressed by lower incomes, longer hours on the job and rising concerns about a double dip recession.
Pew Research Center reports than more than 50% of all working adults have suffered unemployment, a pay cut or reduction in hours. Of those, an estimated 26% (or 36 million) of the 139 million currently employed workers in the United States suffered at least one spell of unemployment during the Great Recession that began in December, 2007
Wall Street Journal has a great interactive graphic on unemployment by sector and gender that chronicles the job losses since January 2008. The sectors that have not lost jobs include healthcare, education and government. Of course, education is seeing a boost from students and unemployed who are either staying in school or going back to school. And women have historically been overly represented in healthcare, education and government jobs.
Most of the job gains have gone to men. All of the 71,000 job gain in private payrolls in July went to men. A net 72,000 new jobs were held by men, while the number of jobs held by women declined by 1,000. For the year so far, private payrolls for men have expanded by 558,000 jobs; for women, they’ve increased by just 72,000.The reason for this may be the recovery in manufacturing,a more male-dominated industry, versus the lackluster growth of the service sector where women make up a large portion of the sector.
Nervousness still abounds. According to a Pew Study, only 38% of the re-employed say they are being paid more now than at their former job and just 28% say their current benefits are better. Most Americans feel that it will take three or more years for their families to recover. And until that happens, Moms will still keep a tight rein in spending. Until then, Moms who are working outside the home or not will be buying private label, using coupons, deal shopping, cutting back on expensive vacations and limiting visits to the physician.
- ‘Mancession’ Ebbs as Economic Recovery Revives Male Hiring (dailyfinance.com)
- Christine Bork: The “Man-cession:” Why Less for Men Doesn’t Mean More for Women (huffingtonpost.com)
- From Man-cession to He-covery (blogs.wsj.com)
August 19, 2010 § Leave a comment
The original cellphone was the Motorola “Brick”. It was the coolest thing on the planet in the 80s. And very few people had them. Fast forward to today, and 82% of adults use cellphones. And that’s not counting the ten year old in your household who absolutely thinks they need one.
The unbelievable growth in mobile phones is evidenced by the fact that in the year 2000, only 53% of adults had a cell phone compared to the 82% of adults with cellphones today.
As cellphone usage has grown, there has been a corresponding decline in the use of landlines. According to Pew Research Center, back in the peak year 2001 of landlines, 97% of households had a landline. Today only 74% of homes have one.
The 24/7, full-on mobile lifestyle that we live has made a mobile phone a necessity but interestingly enough, the cellphone is valued for more than talking – it’s valued for its email, text, camera, web, entertainment and mapping features for today’s user.
So for you marketers who are stuck in the 80s style of marketing, it’s time to tap into the importance of mobile marketing. Make sure your websites are optimized for mobile. Take a look at mobile marketing programs. Invest some money for experimentation. Mobile is not going anywhere. It is only going to continue to grow in importance with smartphones and tablets replacing laptops and landline phones.
July 6, 2010 § 1 Comment
American women are delaying or not having children according to studies from Pew Research Center. These are two interesting trends that Pew Research has reported in new studies out this year.
First-time Moms are older and better educated. Half of mothers surveyed in a new study on the state of motherhood said that parenthood “just happened”. What an interesting statistic! It’s something that I can relate to. My two beautiful and wonderful offspring were not planned; they just happened in the middle of my career and my thirties. The new study released by the Pew Research Center provides some surprising new information on the Moms of Today, compared with motherhood in 1990.
The Pew study found that new mothers in the U.S. are increasingly older and better educated then they were twenty years ago. Today, one in seven babies is born to a mother at least 35 years old. In 2008 there were 4.3 million births in the U.S., compared with 4.2 million in 1990. The actual number of births has risen every year from 2003 to 2007, when it seem the economy caused a baby bust. It seems the trend towards older and better educated Moms has to do with careers, advanced education and improvements in medical and fertility care.
More women are choosing to not have a child. According to Pew Research, some one-in-five American women end their childbearing years without having borne a child, compared with one-in-ten in the 1970s. Among women 40-44, the proportion that has never given birth is 1.9 million women, compared with nearly 580,000 in 1976. Pew offers up that childlessness has risen in recent decades because social pressure to bear children has diminished for women and the decision to have a child is seen as a personal one. Certainly job equality and contraceptive methods have factored into this trend.
These two trends are important for marketers. Too many times marketers tend to portray stereotypes that do not truly identify with their audience. For those marketing to Moms, there is no one-size- fits-all. For those portraying women in their 40s, it’s certainly must represent the differing lifestyles of women. Women who have chosen to not have children are extremely sensitive to old social attitudes that assume not having children is about biology and not choice.
Society has changed and marketers must embrace the lifestyles of strong, well-educated and employed women, both with children and without.