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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Oh, Lord.

posted by on October 23 at 13:54 PM

What is it my mother always used to say? “A man is not a plan”? Still, according to a new report, single women are hit hardest by economic downturns:

According to analysis of data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics for individuals 25 to 61 years old, female-headed households have twice the likelihood – 13.5% - of seeing a 50% greater drop in their income than male-headed households’ probability – 6.6% - of such a drop. The probability of a major income drop for female-headed households has risen in the last two recessions.

Female-headed households are at a distinct disadvantage in recessions because they have fewer savings to draw upon. In an analysis by Harvard Professor Mariko Chang of the net worth of all unmarried women, he found that their median net worth was $12,900 – less than half the $26,850 for unmarried men. He found that the wage gap is the primary cause of this inequality of wealth – accounting for 39% of the disparity for never-married households and 18% of the disparity for divorced households.

More than half of all poor adult women - 54 percent - are single with no dependent children. Twenty-six percent of poor adult women are single women with dependent children

For more on the wage gap, see the Center for American Progress’s October 2008 report, The Straight Facts on Women in Poverty.

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"female-headed households are at a distinct disadvantage in recessions because they have fewer savings to draw upon."

Too bad you can't eat Manolo Blahniks or make your mortgage payments in Pucci handbags.

(I'm a kidder)

Posted by Banna | October 23, 2008 2:05 PM

"A man is not a plan?" Or is it the famous palindrome? "A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!"

Posted by inkweary | October 23, 2008 2:33 PM

Women are paid less than men, even when they have the same qualifications and work the same hours. Women who work full time earn only 77 percent of what men make—a 22 percent gap in average annual wages. Discrimination, not lack of training or education, is largely the cause of the wage gap. Even with the same qualifications, women earn less than men. In 2007, full time, year round female workers aged 25 to 32 with a bachelor's degree were paid 14 percent less than men.

The problem with this section is that it doesn't say whether the study compared women and men working in the same field. I have a bachelor's degree and work full time in an engineering job. My sister-in-law has a bachelor's degree and works full time in a combination of waitressing and stage managing. Needless to say, our incomes are different.

Posted by Greg | October 23, 2008 2:55 PM

Tax those laid-off cunts. We want the ST train to pump up the value of our holdings.

Posted by Downtown Bellevue Property Owners | October 23, 2008 2:55 PM

3 - the problem with this entire report is that they do not specify their methodology. if their model includes only gender [m/f] and bachelor's degree [yes/no] -- as their write-up suggests -- they're ignoring all sorts of variables that affect a person's earnings. i mean, what do they mean by "qualifications"? details, please.

these reports often over-simplify this issue. the wage gap is real, but they are not doing women any favors by pretending it is due entirely to gender discrimination and can be fixed by legislation. the reality is there are multiple factors at play, requiring multiple strategies.

Posted by brandon | October 23, 2008 3:09 PM

Good thing Seattle's single women have all three Stranger-endorsed special levies to look forward to! That ought to help ease their financial burden!

Posted by joykiller | October 23, 2008 3:33 PM

I can personally attest to this-- my take home income has decreased approximately 33% from what it was last year at the same time, and I work for the same company in the exact same position. Granted, it's a sales job, and a large part of my pay depends on commission, but that's a really significant drop. And I'm certainly not spending my money on manolos and ugly purses, thank you very much.

Posted by SDizzle | October 23, 2008 3:34 PM

Sdizzle, this has nothing to do with you unless you're claiming women hold more sales positions.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 23, 2008 6:44 PM

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