When researchers look at possible links among social, economic and demographic trends -- such as the current recession and declining marriage rates -- they face a challenge. Two trends may be heading in the same direction, but are they related? Correlation, the statisticians frequently warn, is no guarantee of causation.
For a narrow majority of Americans (55%), the Great Recession brought a mix of unemployment, missed mortgage or rent payments, shrinking paychecks and shattered household budgets. But for the other 45%, the recession was largely free of such difficulties.
Nearly six-in-ten Americans say it is “unacceptable” for homeowners to stop making their mortgage payments, but more than a third say the practice of “walking away” from a home mortgage is acceptable under certain circumstances. Homeowners whose home values declined during the recession and those who have spent time unemployed are more likely to say that “walking away” from a mortgage is acceptable.
One child in 10 in the U.S. lives with a grandparent, a share that increased slowly and steadily over the past decade before rising sharply from 2007 to 2008, the first year of the Great Recession. About 40% of all children who live with a grandparent (or grandparents) are also being raised primarily by that grandparent.
Workers who suffered a spell of unemployment during the recession are, on average, less satisfied with their new jobs than workers who didn’t. These re-employed workers also are more likely to consider themselves over-qualified for their current position. And six-in-ten say they changed careers or seriously thought about it while they were unemployed.
More than half (55%) of adults in the labor force say that since the economic slump began 30 months ago, they have suffered a spell of unemployment, a cut in pay, a reduction in hours or have become involuntary part-time workers; the recession has also led to a new frugality and diminished expectations about retirement and their children's future.
There is broad public agreement that past government policies intended to address the financial crisis and recession have not worked. At the same time, there is very little agreement about what the government should do now to deal with the nation’s biggest economic concern -- the job situation.
Freshman enrollment at post-secondary institutions rose by a 40-year record of 6% in the 2007-2008 school year, with Hispanics experiencing the largest increase in enrollments; half of the total increase in enrollment occurred in just 109 institutions out of nearly 6,100.
There is a strong association between the magnitude of fertility change in 2008 across states and key economic indicators including changes in per capita income, housing prices and share of the working-age population that is employed across states.
The multi-generational American family household is staging a comeback -- driven in part by the job losses and home foreclosures of recent years, but more so by demographic changes that have been gathering steam for decades. As of 2008, a record 49 million Americans, or 16.1% of the total U.S. population, lived in such a household, up from 28 million, or 12.l%, in 1980. Such households had been more common a century ago, but began to fall out of favor after World War II. Now they are coming back.