Recession is Forcing Couples to Split for Jobs

Posted on October 10, 2009

There are many working couples in today's world that have been hit very hard by the recession. Each spouse needs a job for the couple to earn enough income to pay the bills. If one or both loses a job they could face financial hardship. The Wall Street Journal reports the ugly recession has split up couples as one spouse is forced to take a job away from home. The WSJ article quotes a study from Challenger, Gray & Christmas that found 18.2% of 1,450 successful job seekers relocated for positions in the second quarter. This was a big jump from the 11.4% found in a survey from a year before.
Faced with a choice between the financial hardship of unemployment or a relocating for a job, more couples are going for a third option and choosing long-term separations. The issue is more common during this recession than in past downturns because of the prevalence of two-career couples. In 2008, 51.4% of married households had both spouses working, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

"Someone finding employment in another city creates a bigger challenge for families than it did a generation ago," says Joseph Foudy, a professor of economics and management at New York University's Stern School of Business. "You can't assume that a spouse that follows another will find employment in this market."
It can also be expensive. Trips for the relocated spouse to visit can be costly and exhausting.