Peep how they are framing this as a W for women and society in general when demographic decline is a disaster in the long run:
Combined, the two reports lay out the case that in the coming years, women are positioned to drive the economic conversation from both the inside—as a workforce propelling better company performance—and outside, as consumers powering discretionary spending and GDP.
“In the past, education or lower-paying occupational choices largely drove the pay gap,” says Ellen Zentner, Chief U.S. Economist. “Today, motherhood is by far the largest contributor to the wage gap, since women who become mothers often choose to stop working or work fewer hours."
In the coming years, another demographic trend could help further close the pay gap in the U.S.: the rising ranks of single working women. Based on Census Bureau historical data and Morgan Stanley forecasts, 45% of prime working age women (ages 25-44) will be single by 2030—the largest share in history—up from 41% in 2018.
Women Control More Purse StringsAs it stands, women already control a large share of the U.S. consumer wallet. They contribute an estimated $7 trillion to the U.S. gross domestic product per year, according to the Center for American Progress, and are the principal shoppers in 72% of households, according to consumer surveys conducted by MRI-Simmons.
Meanwhile, women are earning bachelor’s degrees at a higher rate than men, and they are the primary breadwinner for nearly 30% of married households and nearly 40% of total U.S. households.
“Because women now contribute significantly more to household income than previous generations and remain the primary shopper for most households, their influence has grown in nature and degree," says U.S. Retail Equity Analyst Lauren Cassel. This is true whether women are single or married, she adds, though spending decisions do vary by relationship status. “We find that single women outspend the average household, shifting spending profiles toward categories most poised to benefit from the demographic growth in single women with rising incomes," says Cassel.
The trend is set to boost segments of the economy where single women historically spend more, including apparel and footwear, personal care, food away from home, and luxury and electric automobiles. (For specific sector and company outlooks ask your Morgan Stanley representative for the full report, “The Rise of the SHEconomy.”)