*The number of unmarried couples living together rose 13 percent from the previous year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
This year, there are 7.5 million opposite-sex unmarried couples living together – up from 6.7 million in 2009, reported the bureau on Thursday. The year before had witnessed a two percent drop after a five percent rise in co-habiting couples between 2007 and 2008.
Demographers say a poor job market is likely a factor in the rise of co-habiting couples in 2010.
According to 2010 data, unmarried couples who recently began living together usually have one partner unemployed. Only 49 percent of cohabiting couples this year are ones where both partners are employed. This figure is down from 59 percent in 2008 and 52 percent in 2009.
“Pooling resources by moving in together may be one method of coping with extended unemployment of one of the partners,” said Rose Kreider, a demographer in the Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division at the Census Bureau, according to Agence France-Presse.
Kreider noted the sharp rise in co-habiting this year – three years after the official beginning of the Great Recession, is likely due to people “exhausting” other ways to stay financially afloat – unemployment benefits, saved money, available credit, or assistance from friends and family.
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