Median Earnings and Annual Hours Worked for Two-Parent Families
July 8, 2011
While median wages for two-parent families have increased 23 percent since 1976, evidence suggests that this increase is not the result of rising wages but of additional hours worked outside of the home. For example, in 2009, the average two-parent family worked 26 percent more hours than in 1975, with families now working about 3500 hours, on average, compared to 2800 hours. The 26 percent increase in hours worked mainly reflects increases in women working. In fact, among two-parent families with median earnings, the hours of men were relatively constant over time, while hours worked by women more than doubled from 1975 to 2009.