More single Americans are living alone – despite the economy. Census data from 2010 showed 31 million households consisted of 1 person – 4 million more than in 2000 – and singles made up 27% of households. Single householders were primarily women – approximately 17 million compared to 14 million men. Most singles were ages 35-64 and they accounted for about 35% of total consumer spending – 1.6 trillion. The increase in their numbers is attributed to increasing divorce rates since 1950, as well as to more women entering the workforce. However, what all these people have in common is they are “single-minded”.
There are more American women in the workforce. In 1972 it was 36.1%. In 2012 it’s 49.3%. The percentage of women increased in sectors like government (42.7% to 56.8%), leisure and hospitality (38.8% to 52.2%) and financial activities (49.4% to 58.1%). Women do most jobs in health and education – which was also true in 1972 (75.9% to 76.7%). However, the number of jobs in that sector has more than doubled. Men do most jobs in manufacturing (72.6% to 72.7%), but manufacturing jobs have decreased sharply. Construction has the lowest percentage of women (12.7%), but we can “build on” that.
More American men are stay-at-home dads. According to the 2010 Census, 32% of fathers with a working wife took care of their children at least one day weekly – up from 26% in 2002 – and 20% of fathers with children under age 5 were primary caretakers. The increase is attributed to more mothers working and more fathers out of work. Child care costs are another reason it often makes sense for the parent earning less money to stay home. In 2008, 26% of women had incomes at least 10% higher than their husbands. Obviously, the economy can have a “high-impact” effect on parenting.
For all Americans turn signal neglect is more dangerous than distracted driving. It causes about 2 million collisions yearly – more than twice the 950,000 distracted driving accidents. This was the finding of a Society of Automotive Engineers study. Drivers neglected to use turn signals when changing lanes or forgot to turn them off 48% of the time. When making turns, the failure rate was about 25%. “Smart Turn Signals” may be the solution. They would automatically turn off after lane changes and would flash a reminder for drivers who neglect turn signals. This could be a “turning point” in safe driving.