Women's taste in men may vary, but when it comes to choosing a husband women's top priority is that their potential suitor have a steady job.
A lot of people want to tie the knot, but according to a study from Pew Research Center
, three in 10 never-married Americans aged 25 to 24 say the main reason it hasn't happened is that they can't find someone who has what they are looking for in a spouse.
For men, the most important quality in a potential wife is having similar ideas about having and rising children. But women rank stable employment as more important than race, educational background or even religious and moral compatibility, the survey found.
And given that standard, the pool of eligible bachelors is shrinking because the number of men who work is on a downward slope.
As of August, only about 88 percent of men between 25 and 54 were participants in the labor force, according to Bloomberg
Some may assume the large number of unemployed males' is due to the Great Recession. But Bloomberg says there has been a steady decline in male workers since 1954, when nearly 98 percent of men worked.
However, the steepest declines among younger men, those between ages 25 and 34, have occurred over the past 10 years.
And economists project the trend will continue, putting some men — particularly for those without a college degree — at risk of permanent isolation from the job market, according to Bloomberg.
As more men have disappeared from the workforce the number of Americans who have never been married has risen to a historic high, Pew noted.
Overall, one in five Americans age 25 or older have never exchanged vows. Instead, a growing number just live together. That lifestyle choice is widely chosen by Millennials, as a quarter of young Americans aged 25 to 34 share a home without saying "I do."
And when Americans do get married, it's a decision made later in life. The average woman now waits until age 27 to walk down the aisle, up from age 20 in 1960, and the average man exchanges vows at age 29, up from 23.
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