here are more single women in the United States today than ever before.1 At the same time, new research by Christian E. Weller and Michele E. Tolson for the Center for American Progress shows that single women also face some of the most concentrated economic risk.2
Weller and Tolson defined economic risk as unexpected losses of income. Significantly, they adopted a broad conception of the most relevant types of economic risks faced by women, including unexpectedly having to take time off work to care for someone else or losing one’s job due to caregiving responsibilities. These risks are compounded by the fact that single women, in general, have fewer defenses against unexpected income loss than men do. Single women have fewer savings to draw from in the event of an emergency, as well as fewer retirement savings to serve as a nest egg for the future.