|Abstract or Summary
- The purpose of this study was to examine the job-related
expenditures of female household heads. Also examined were levels
of education, occupations, presence of dependent children, employment
benefits and reasons for working.
A random sample of 75 female household heads was drawn from
the 1973 Polk's Corvallis City Directory. The sample was composed
of 28 divorced, 3 separated, 15 single and 28 widowed women
living in Corvallis, Oregon. The interviews were conducted during
March and April of 1974. The median age for the 75 household
heads was 51 years. They had completed a mean of 15 years of
schooling. Single household heads were both younger, with a median
age of 32, and had a higher level of education, 17 years, than widows
and divorced women. Forty-nine percent of the female household heads were professional workers; 39 percent were clerical and sales
workers; and the remaining 12 percent were semiskilled workers.
Eighty percent of the single household heads were employed in professional
occupations, compared with 45 percent of the widows and
38 percent of the divorced and separated women. Median employment
income for all 75 household heads was $7, 249. For the 68
women who had worked the entire year, the median employment
income was $7, 500 and the mean, $8, 162.
Hypothesis 1. Hypothesis 1, there is no relationship between
level of education of the female household head and amount of
earnings, was not supported by the data and it was rejected. As the
level of education increased, the employment income also increased.
Household heads who had not completed high school were employed
in the lowest-paying occupations. Full-time workers who were
college graduates earned 52 percent more than high school graduates
and 14 percent more than household heads with some college
education. Household heads who had master's degrees earned 36
percent more than college graduates. Household heads with doctoral
degrees earned 28 percent more than those with master's degrees.
Hypothesis 2. Hypothesis 2, between 40 and 50 percent of the
employed female household heads' income from gainful employment
was absorbed by job-related expenditures, was not supported by the
data. There was a significant difference at the .01 level and the hypothesis was rejected. Female household heads in the study
reported 35.8 percent of their cash employment income was used for
job-related expenditures or a mean of $2, 930.
Payroll deductions absorbed the highest percentage of employment
income, 26.5 percent or a mean of $2, 164. Federal income
taxes were the highest reported expense, 13.7 percent, with a mean
of $1, 122 and a range of $1. 15 to $4, 441. Directly-related expenses
were reported as 5.2 percent of the employment income. Education
related to the job and transportation were the highest directly-related
expenses, 1.5 and 1.6 percent, respectively. Indirectly-related
expenses amounted to 4.1 percent of the employment income.
Clothing needed for work was the most expensive indirectly-related
expense reported, 1.5 percent.
Hypothesis 3. Hypothesis 3, there is no difference in percentage
of employment income spent for job-related expenses of female
household heads with dependent children aged 18 and under and those
without dependent children, was accepted since no significant difference
in the percentage of income spent was found at the .025 level
in a two-tailed "t" test. Female household heads with dependent
children reported 36.9 percent of their employment income was
spent on job-related expenses and those without children reported
35. 8 percent. Hypothesis 4. For female household heads with dependent
children aged 18 and under, there is no difference in the percentage
of employment income spent for job-related expenses of household
heads with preschool children and those with no preschool children.
Hypothesis 4 was not tested. Only two household heads in the study
had children of preschool age.
Female household heads reported receiving a mean dollar
value of $168 in employment benefits. Eighty-three percent of the 75
workers reported receiving health insurance with a mean value of
$79. Cash bonuses were valued at a mean of $22 and employer
discounts at $21 for all workers. A combined mean dollar value of
$44 was received for meals, coffee and snacks, life insurance, gifts
from the employer, laundering and drycleaning of work clothing and
discounts from other organizations.
Only two reasons for working were given by more than 50 percent
of the 75 household heads, These reasons were to pay for current
living expenses and because they enjoyed working.