The unsteady jobs market may be causing more unmarried couples to move in with each other.
According to a study by the Census Bureau
, cohabitation among opposite-sex couples showed an "unusually large" increase over the past year, with the number of couples living together jumped from 6.7 million to 7.5 million - a 13 percent increase.
The employment status of the couple played a significant part in the increase. Among those couples, both partners were employed just 39 percent of the time.
"Pooling resources by moving in together may be one method of coping with extended unemployment of one of the partners," writes census family demographer Rose Kreider, who analyzed the data.
Kreider added that while the number of cohabitating couples has been increasing, the 13 percent jump was more than double recent averages.
Despite reports that the recession may be ending, unemployment continues to be a significant issue. The Labor Department reported Thursday that the rate of initial jobless claims unexpectedly jumped by 12,000 over the last week, showing that employers are still not hiring on a large scale.