According to a recent article from Bloomberg News, more Americans are getting divorced in the post 2009 Great Recession era. It almost sounds like this might be a good thing – at least for the U.S. economy given that there is a corresponding positive impact on several economic drivers such as “demand for housing” which in turn spurs the construction and home appliances industries. Says Bloomberg:
The number of Americans getting divorced rose for the third year in a row to about 2.4 million in 2012, after plunging in the 18-month recession ended June 2009, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Whatever the social and emotional impact, the broad economic effects of the increase are clear: It is contributing to the formation of new households, boosting demand for housing, appliances and furnishings and spurring the economy. Divorces are also prompting more women to enter the labor force. “As the economy normalizes, so too do family dynamics,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “Birth rates and divorce rates are rising. We may even see them rise strongly in the next couple of years, as households who put off these life-changing events decide to act.” More
Back in 2009 according to the article, the U.S. divorce rate experienced a “40 year low.” But things are definitely rebounding; more people are choosing to exit bad marriages now that the economy has picked up. But it is not all good news. Divorce is still an economic blow for many women who find themselves falling from Middle Class and sometimes upper middle class tax brackets to working class or even welfare rolls in some instances. Many have to return to school to get better degrees so that they can qualify for higher paying jobs. But during that period, they sometimes have to get food stamps and housing assistance to make ends meet.