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Husband and wife employed in 48 percent of married-couple families in 2015

May 02, 2016

In 2015, the share of families with an employed member was 80.3 percent, up by 0.2 percentage point from 2014. Families maintained by women with no spouse present remained less likely to have an employed member (75.0 percent) than families maintained by men with no spouse present (82.9 percent) or married-couple families (81.4 percent).

Employment in families by family type, 2015 annual average
Characteristic Percent

Married-couple families


Husband only


Wife only


Husband and wife


Other employment combinations


No family member employed


Families maintained by women, no spouse present


Householder only


Householder and other member(s)


Other member(s), not householder


No family member employed


Families maintained by men, no spouse present


Householder only


Householder and other member(s)


Other member(s), not householder


No family member employed


Among married-couple families, both the husband and wife were employed in 48.0 percent of families; in 19.8 percent of married-couple families only the husband was employed, and in 7.1 percent only the wife was employed.

These data are from the Current Population Survey. For more information, see "Employment Characteristics of Families — 2015" (HTML) (PDF). A family is a group of two or more people living together who are related by birth, marriage, or adoption. Families are classified as married-couple families or as families maintained by women or men without spouses present. Unless otherwise noted, families include those without children as well as those with children under age 18.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Husband and wife employed in 48 percent of married-couple families in 2015 at (visited October 20, 2021).