Women are working longer hours and contributing more to the family income than they did 10 years ago, according to Statistics Canada.
"The family work week," based on data from the Labour Force Survey, found that between 1997 and 2008, the proportion of wives earning at least 45 per cent of the family total income increased from 37 per cent to 42 per cent. Most of this change was driven by an increase in the proportion of women who were primary breadwinners.
The working hours of husbands and wives also became closer between 1997 and 2008. In 2008, 65 per cent of wives were considered equal workers in terms of weekly paid hours, up from 60 per cent in 1997.
During the 12-year period, the average combined work week for spouses in dual-earner couples remained relatively unchanged at around 77 hours.
However, the average weekly hours worked by wives increased steadily, while husbands put in fewer hours on the job. In 1997, husbands worked over nine hours a week more than their wives (43.3 compared with 33.8). By 2008, this difference had declined to just over seven (42.0 compared with 34.7).
Over the same period, women's average weekly earnings increased at a faster pace than men's. In 1997, $640 (39 per cent) of total family earnings came from wives; by 2008, wives were contributing $740 (41 per cent of the total).
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