An analysis of new U.S. Census data shows a rising tide of poverty among working-class single parents, especially among women without college degrees.
The implications, revealed in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis, may threaten the long-term prosperity of middle-class families and the heft they provide to the economy, with marriage disappearing as a norm, especially among those who have children.
To some experts, the real problem is a decades-long collapse of job opportunities that is driving decisions of whether to tie or untie the knot.
“What is happening is the kinds of jobs that used to allow people with a high school education to make marriage work are very hard to find,” said Andrew Cherlin of Johns Hopkins University. “They’ve either gone overseas or disappeared into computer chips. And the Great Recession has made matters worse.”
Hard times, like jobs, come and go, and come back. Is the troubled economy really breaking marriages up, or is it being used as a convenient excuse to walk away from commitment to family?