The New Single Majority

In 2014 the Bureau of Labor and Statistics released information stating for the first time in the history of collecting their data, singles outnumbered married adults in the workforce.

More than half of the workforce is single!

While many news agencies ran with this data the wrong way saying that “adults” are more single than they are married, we at Table for One would like to interpret this data correctly for what it is. These stats reflect 16 and older as single, yet hardly anyone but a government agency would call a 16-year-old single. With the average age of marriage for men at 29 and women at 27, it is fair to say that when we say “single” we often mean those that are not married and that categorization is singles roughly 21 and older. That does not mean this data does not have implications, it does!

# 1 Employers need to be “single” friendly with benefits.

  • Most companies offer the same benefits to all its employees except when it comes to health care. Often a company will absorb more of the cost for a family or married person than for a single adult. With mandatory health care, the benefits for singles will become more competitive with their family counterparts.

# 2 Attendance rules need to be fair regardless of your relationship status.

  • It is the weekend and you have been planning to hang out with your friends all weekend. Your married co-worker wants to spend time with family.  Then your boss calls and asks you to work since you do not have kids or a spouse. Time is valuable to everyone. Treat singles with the same policy you do for those married with kids. Period.

#3 Personal Issues while at work.

  • We all know of the co-worker who is constantly AWOL due to child-related challenges or marriage conflicts. While grace needs to be given, it too should be given for singles who have things they value that sometimes interfere with work. Again, fairness is key to the new single majority workforce.

#4 Not all singles are lonely. Stop trying to play office matchmaker.

  • You come into work to again find a co-worker encouraging you to date more and settle down and be married. All things you are painfully aware of and did not want to deal with right before giving your TPS report. Office relationships have their challenges. Make sure your employer has policies set in place for those that do date and encourage a culture that isn’t only focused on married adults with kids.

These are four ways employers can embrace the new single majority workforce creating a positive place where singles want to work.

Do you think there are more advantages to having more singles in the workforce or not?

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