Psychology/Women & Gender Studies
Mentor: Dr. Mary Beth Mattingly, UNH Carsey Institute
Activity of Mothers during Economic Strain
The media and some scholars have dubbed the current economic recession the "man-cession" (Rampell, 2009). Although men are shouldering the majority of job losses and experiencing a higher unemployment rate than working women, women are still affected by this recession: by partner's job loss, by the collapse of housing and investment markets, and often by their own job loss. Our current economic crisis has been dubbed the “Great Recession” because of its close resemblance to the “economic climate” of the Great Depression (Isidore, 2009). Labor market deterioration of this current recession is the “worst on record” since the late 1940s (Elsby, Hobijn, & Sahin, 2010). An analysis of this “Great Recession” has not comprehensively examined women's job loss. The current research will use data to analyze women in the labor force during economic strain. We anticipate that single women and mothers will experience more job loss, decrease in wages, be less successful and more susceptible to downward mobility after the official declaration of the recession than married women and mothers. This will be measured through any changes in type of household and household items, environment, rent, government/ public assistance, mother’s employment details and worker’s compensation, health insurance, and occupation and education right after the recession began and while it was in progress. We consider this possibility using the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) of the Current Population Survey Data. We will use data from March 2008, shortly after the recession began, and March 2009, well into the recession. We will explore whether there is a relationship between differences in single mothers’ activity shortly after the onset of the recession and 15 months after the official start of the recession and compare any changes to changes observed for married mothers.