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Survey: Women Are Breadwinners In 40 Percent Of Families

Just 11 Percent Of Women In 1960 Were Prime Moneymakers

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A huge shift is under way when it comes to family finances in America.

A new report found more working mothers than ever are now the primary breadwinners.

That situation holds true for Leonora Blanco, who works long hours as a nurse at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital in New York while her husband stays home with their two children.

“We had to make a big decision of him just staying at home with the kids and then me doing extra overtime,” Blanco told CBS 2’s Alexis Christoforous.

As the family’s only breadwinner, she’s part of a giant shift taking place in the U.S.

A new report from the Pew Research Center finds that working mothers are now the primary moneymakers in 40 percent of households with children. That’s an increase from just 11 percent in 1960.

Part of the trend comes from the shift in American education. Today more women than men have college degrees and women make up nearly half of the American workforce.

LINK: Read The Full Report (pdf)

Changes in the economy have also fueled the trend.

Male dominated industries like construction and manufacturing have seen big job losses, putting more pressure on women to bring home the bacon.

Pharmacist Nancy Arbogast said she thinks the shift is a good thing.

“It’s helped my child, she knows she has to take care of herself,” she told Christoforous.

In households where moms are the primary breadwinners, 63 percent are single mothers. Thirty-seven percent are married women who out-earn their husbands.

“When it comes to family, we’re all in it together I guess,” New Yorker Andrew Vacca told Christoforous.

Blanco said she’s comfortable as the breadwinner.

“We need to be practical, we need to pay our bills,” Blanco told

She said she misses the time with her children, but said the arrangement has kept their family strong.

Just 21 percent of those polled said the trend of more mothers working outside the home is good for society.

Roughly 3 in 4 adults surveyed said an increase in working moms has made it harder for parents to raise children, Christoforous reported.

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