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New York (CNN Business) - There are more single women in the workforce than ever, and that is having a profound effect on the US economy.
Working women contribute more than 7 billion dollars to the US economy. By 2030, 45% of working women aged 25 to 44 in the United States will be single. That will be the largest participation in history, according to an investigation by Morgan Stanley (MS), using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In 2018, single women constituted 41% of working women in that age range.
Women have always tended to be the main buyers in American homes, and single women spend more than married women, says Morgan Stanley's research.
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Some sectors in particular could benefit from this demographic change.
Clothing and footwear, personal care, food and luxury and electric vehicles are more likely to receive a boost from higher spending for single women, according to Morgan Stanley.
In the clothing segment, brands such as Lululemon Athletica and Nike are well positioned, even when an aging population weighs on the sector.
Singles, especially women, spend more on personal care than their married friends. Morgan Stanley says that Sephora-parent LVMH and Ulta Beauty could benefit.
The US exit of the traditional family model also means more business for fast and informal restaurants like Chipotle Mexican Grill and Starbucks.
Finally, Morgan Stanley expects more women to buy more cars in the future than they do now. At the moment, men represent a larger group of buyers, but over time, the division of car buyers between men and women will be equalized, which could give a great boost to car sales. The bank's first choice in the segment is Tesla.
But single women who work not only buy lipsticks, cars and yoga pants.
"Low-income households, which are more likely to be headed by women, spend 82% of their budget on basic needs such as housing, food, transportation, medical care and clothing," said Lauren Bauer, a fellow in economic studies at Brookings Institution
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By comparison, middle-income households only spend 78% of their budget on basic needs, according to a report from the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution. While housing accounts for most of the expenditure in all income groups, it consumes almost half of the budget for low-income households. Food and transportation are the next two most important items.
The proportion of single women in the workforce is likely to increase as more women earn bachelor's degrees, get married later and wait until they are older to have children. About 80% of single women between the ages of 25 and 54 work or seek employment, Bauer said.
And as the workforce changes, corporations will have to rethink how they can support employees. One of the biggest barriers that remain for women workers is access to child care.
"We have to talk about releasing pressure on the home," said Pam Jeffords, a partner and leader in diversity and inclusion at PwC. And this means that employers think of care, both for children and for parents, as a condition for employment and not as a benefit.
“Organizations must stop assuming that there is a type of traditional family unit that needs a type of support,” said Jeffords.
Feminism Labor Market