Are working women and men happier than their peers? Yes. But there are significant differences across ages and genders.
To examine this question, we created a measurement called the Employment Happiness Gap (EHG), which compares the percentage of people employed who say they are typically happy with the percentage of people unemployed who are typically happy. I then examined the EHG across age groups and genders.
It turns out that males and females have substantially different EHG profiles. As you can see in the graphic below:
- Consumers of every age and gender are happier when they are employed.
- The largest EHG is 21 percentage points for males between 25 and 34. As males get older, the gap gets smaller and pretty much disappears once they reach 65.
- The largest EHG for females is 16 points, and it occurs in two age groups, when they first enter the job market between 18 and 24 and then later in life when they get to be about 50. The EHG virtually disappears over the next 10 years.