According to the Census Bureu's American Community Survey, among all couples (married or unmarried), same-sex couples were more likely to have both members in the work force.
Potential contributing factors included, age, martial status, and children.
When analyzing 2019 data, the Census Bureau's survey found same-sex couples tended to be younger, and less likely overall, to have at least one member eligible for retirement. In fact, opposite-sex couples were 11.4% more likely to have one person 65 years or older, when compared to same-sex couples.
Analyzing couples between 25 to 64, ages when adults are more likely to work or actively seeking it; they found same-sex couples were still more likely to have both people employed. 74.1% of same-sex couples compared with only 64.9% of opposite-sex couples.
People in same-sex marriages were also more likely than their opposite-sex counterparts to work full-time and year-round.
Regarding marital status, same-sex couples were more likely to be unmarried when compared to opposite-sex couples. Unmarried partners tended to have higher employment rates for both members, than their married counterparts when studied.
Upon analyses, the Current Population Survery showed a smaller share of same-sex couples had children (14.7%), than opposite-sex couples (37.8%).
The presence of young children may influence a couple’s decision to have one parent stay home to care for the children. Same-sex couples with children were more likely (72.4%) than opposite-sex couples (65.6%) to have both partners employed.
The age of children can play a key role in this. However, even in the cases with the presence of young children, same-sex couples were more likely to have both members employed. In 2019, 67% of same-sex couples with young children (under age 6) had both members of the couple employed, compared to 61.3% of opposite-sex couples with young children.
There were no differences between male and female same-sex couples with a child in their households.
Both were just as likely to have both members working (72.4% for males and 72.3% for females).
In general, all married couples with children were more likely (65.8%) than unmarried couples (64.5%) to have both members working.
When only older children were present, all married and unmarried couples were equally (69.0%) as likely to have both partners working.
When comparing same-sex and opposite-sex couples, however, same-sex married couples with children were more likely (71.9%) than opposite-sex married couples with children (65.8%) to have both members employed.
The same was also true for unmarried partners — 73.7% of same-sex partners with children had both members employed, while only 64.3% of opposite-sex unmarried partners with children did.
Same-sex married couples with young children (under age 6) present were also more likely (67.4%) than opposite-sex married couples with young children (61.5%) to have both spouses working.
Neither age, marriage, nor the presence of children fully explain why same-sex and opposite-sex couples differ when it comes to employment for both members of the couple. Many factors influence choices about whether both partners work, and a modeled analysis would be required to disentangle those associations.