Why the jobs recovery favors single workers
August 16th, 2012
03:06 PM ET

Why the jobs recovery favors single workers

By Annalyn Censky @CNNMoney

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - As the economy slowly recovers, single people are finding jobs much faster than their married peers.

Single men and women lost about 5 million jobs during the financial crisis, and have since gained back 90% of them, according to the Labor Department. That's not too shabby, especially considering the jobs recovery has been so slow.

But married people, who make up a slightly larger part of the adult population, lost even more jobs and have gained far fewer back. Of the 6 million jobs they lost, they've recouped only about 22%.

Could employers be favoring single workers?

That's unlikely, economists say. The real story probably lies in other demographic factors.

The first clue is the timing. Singles slowly started recovering jobs in 2009, whereas married people didn't see a recovery begin until 2011.

That could be of their own choosing, according to University of Chicago Economist Bruce Meyer. He suggests that in dual-earner households, married people have slightly more freedom to take their time in searching for a new job that's a good fit.

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