Thursday, November 14, 2019

More than 10% of Couples Work for Same Employer

Here's a question you might have asked yourself but never thought there would be an answer. How many dual-earner couples work for the same employer? The answer is 11 to 13 percent, according to a Monthly Labor Review study by Census Bureau economist Henry R. Hyatt.

Wait, what? How can so many couples share an employer? Intraoffice romance is frowned upon these days, often leading to job termination. Not to worry. Hyatt's data are from the 2000 census, so the office romances he discovered occurred in a different era. And there's another reason not to worry (keep reading).

For his study, Hyatt linked 2000 census microdata with administrative records to estimate the percentage of same-sex couples (both married and cohabiting) who share an occupation, industry, work location, and employer. Sharing these characteristics is surprisingly common, he found. A sizable proportion of couples share a narrow industry of employment (12 to 15 percent), and many also work within the same census block. But these shared characteristics, Hyatt finds, are driven  primarily by coworking. "Of those who worked in the same narrow census industry, about 63 percent worked in the same workplace, as did 70 percent of those who worked in the same census block."

Perhaps Hyatt's most interesting finding is this: most coworking couples were couples before they were coworkers. "The vast majority of coworking couples chose the same employer after meeting rather than meeting on the job," says Hyatt. Is it as easy today as it was in 2000 for couples to find jobs with the same employer? Perhaps that question will be answered by a future analysis of 2020 census results.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review, Coworking Couples and the Similar Jobs of Dual-Earner Households

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