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The Great Recession, recovery and divorce: some relevant data

We noted in a recent article that the divorce rates nationally have ebbed and flowed in recent years in tandem with the so-called Great Recession and subsequent recovery that now seems to be on somewhat steady footing (please see our January 30, 2014, blog post).

In other words: Although the unusually harsh financial constraints faced by many Georgia and other couples not that long ago put a damper on much would-be divorce activity, a recent reversal of fortunes for many has resulted in a divorce uptick.

A recent Bloomberg article presents a wealth of data that bears that out. We think that the details might be interesting to many readers and thus pass along some salient facts here.

Here’s something interesting to note, for example. A now ongoing construction boom is notable for its divorce-related connection.

That actually seems quite logical.

“Separations and divorce often create additional housing demand by creating two households when there was one,” says an economist with a national home construction organization.

And that demand has been substantial, notes the U.S. Department of Commerce, which reports a spike of 67 percent in national housing starts from 2009 to 2013.

Understandably, a rise in housing starts and new apartment leases linked to freshly minted divorces has also had a discernible effect on increased sales in retail stores selling furniture and home appliances.

And then there is of course the oft-cited link to unemployment and the divorce rate. Divorces were reportedly at a four-decade low in 2009, when the Great Recession was in full force.

Conversely, the unemployment rate has been steadily ticking downward in recent years, punctuated by a five-year low in January of this year. That drop has been accompanied by a clearly seen rise in divorces, a trend that has continued unabated over a several-year period.

Source: Bloomberg, "Worsening U.S. divorce rate points to improving economy," Steve Matthews, Feb. 18, 2014

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