NC State Ag Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “Manufacturing and Marriage”

Mary:    I’m Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at manufacturing and marriage.  Mike, our country has lost millions of manufacturing jobs in recent decades.  Also, there’s been a reduction in the rate at which people marry.  Now I understand some economists have found a link between the two.  Please explain.

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. Of course, manufacturing traditionally provided middle-income jobs to individuals who didn’t go on to college for their education
  2. Now that avenue isn’t as wide as it used to be
  3. So the income-opportunities for high school grads and high school dropouts are less, meaning their economic attractiveness to potential mates for marriage is reduced
  4. The economists found that statistically this link held up – that as manufacturing jobs have declined, overall marriage rates – and in particular, marriage rates for dropouts or only h.s. grades declined
  5. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service.