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Employment characteristics of families, 2010

March 28, 2011

In 2010, 12.4 percent of families included an unemployed person—its highest level since the data series began in 1994. The proportion of families with an unemployed member in 2010 was up from 12.0 percent in 2009 and nearly double the 6.3 percent recorded in 2007. (The most recent recession began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009 according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.)

Families with an unemployed member, as a percent of total, 1994-2010
[Chart data]

Among families with an unemployed member in 2010, 67.7 percent also had an employed member, down from 68.6 percent in 2009 and 71.2 percent in 2007. Among married-couple families with an unemployed member in 2010, 79.4 percent contained at least one employed member.

In 2010, among married-couple families with children, 95.7 percent had an employed parent, unchanged from the prior year. The share of married-couple families where both parents worked fell to 58.1 percent in 2010 from 58.9 percent in 2009.

Employment status of parents in married-couple families, with own children under 18 years of age, annual average, 2009-10
[Chart data]

In 2010, the mother was employed in 67.0 percent of families maintained by women with no spouse present, down from 67.8 percent in 2009. The father was employed in 75.8 percent of families maintained by men with no spouse present in 2010, little changed over the year.

These data are from the Current Population Survey. To learn more, see "Employment Characteristics of Families in 2010" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-11-0396. A family is a group of two or more persons residing together who are related by birth, marriage, or adoption.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor's Desk, Employment characteristics of families, 2010 on the Internet at (visited September 18, 2014).


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