Both husband and wife work for pay in majority of married-couple families

May 27, 1999

There were 53.7 million married-couple families in the United States in 1998. In over half of them, both the husband and wife were employed. These dual-worker families accounted for 53.1 percent of married-couple families.

Distribution of married-couple families by presence of employed members, 1998
[Chart data TXT]

Families in which only the husband worked for pay comprised 19.2 percent of all married-couple families. In 5.3 percent of families maintained by married couples, only the wife was employed.

No one worked for pay in 16.1 percent of married-couple families. This category includes couples in which both the husband and wife are retired.

These data on married-couple families are produced by the Current Population Survey. A family is defined here as a group of two or more persons residing together who are related by birth, marriage, or adoption. More information can be found in "Employment Characteristics of Families in 1998," news release USDL 99-146.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor's Desk, Both husband and wife work for pay in majority of married-couple families on the Internet at (visited September 16, 2014).


Spotlight on Statistics: Productivity

This edition of Spotlight on Statistics examines labor productivity trends from 2000 through 2010 for selected industries and sectors within the nonfarm business sector of the U.S. economy.  Read more »