Since her husband was laid off last fall, Julee Schirmacher has found herself in a spot that has become familiar to many families over the past few years. She works full-time for a marketing company and, for now, her husband stays home and takes care of the couple’s two kids, ages 5 and 2.
“Money worries me constantly,” said Schirmacher, 29.
The number of women earning more than their husbands had gradually been rising for years, but the pace appeared to quicken during the Great Recession of 2007-09.
Nearly 38 percent of wives earned more than their husbands in 2009, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, up about 3 percentage points from 2008.
As Schirmacher's case shows, in some cases women are earning more than their spouses not because the women are getting ahead, but because their husband has experienced a setback. Schirmacher's husband has been unable to find a job since getting laid off last September.