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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, JAN. 15, 2010
Census Bureau Reports Families With Children
Increasingly Face Unemployment
The latest look at the American family from the U.S. Census Bureau shows just what effect the
recession is having on families and households. Of the 25.8 million married couples with children under 18,
about 6 percent of husbands were unemployed in 2009, compared with 3 percent in 2007; 4 percent of
wives were unemployed in 2009, compared with 2 percent in 2007.
Among the 1.5 million family groups with two unmarried parents, 16 percent of the fathers were
unemployed in March of 2009, compared with 9 percent in March of 2007, while 8 percent of the mothers
were unemployed in 2009, compared with 4 percent in 2007.
In 2009, 12 percent of the 1.7 million father-only family groups with children under 18 were maintained
by an unemployed father, compared with 7 percent in 2007. Of the 9.9 million mother-only family groups, 10
percent were unemployed in 2009 compared with 6 percent in 2007.
“These statistics show us that families are having a difficult time during this recession,” said Rose
Kreider, family demographer with the U.S. Census Bureau. “The data allow us to track annual changes in
the structure and condition of the American family.”
These data come from the March 2009 Current Population Survey, presented as a series of detailed
tables known as America’s Families and Living Arrangements. The tables provide current and historical
perspective, allowing for the examination of different types of families by employment status as well as
other demographic characteristics over time.
The percentage of married couples with children under 18 with both parents employed dropped from 63
percent in 2007 to 59 percent in 2009. A higher percentage of married couples with children under 18 had
only the wife employed in 2009 (7 percent) than