Fact of the Week: Married Women In America Are 4.1 Percentage Points More Likely Than Single Women To Enter The Workforce When They Have Broadband Service At Home

November 29, 2016

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Greater diffusion of home broadband since the early 2000s has enabled more flexible working arrangements. This has been especially beneficial toward married women seeking to juggle children and work. High-speed Internet access has facilitated various new employer-employee work arrangements, such as working remotely, working flexible hours, and video conferencing, all while maintaining or even increasing productivity.

Economist Lisa Dettling analyzed U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics population data on more than 350,000 individuals between 2000 and 2009. She found that when married women adopted home broadband service, they were 4.1 percentage points more likely than single women to participate in the labor force. The effects of home broadband access are even more profound when isolating college-educated married women with children. Dettling found this group was 5.2 percentage points more likely to join the labor force than single women when they adopted home broadband.