Dual earners preparing for job loss: Agency, linked lives, and resilience

Stephen Sweet, Ithaca College
Phyllis Moen, University of Minnesota Twin Cities


We draw on a two-wave panel survey and a third wave of in-depth interviews to study how 78 dual-earner couples prepared for job loss and the implications of preparation for resilience. We find personal and social resources predict preparation: those displaced workers who prepared had higher energy and higher incomes prior to job loss and also worked for employers who provided advance notification. Couples' egalitarian career strategies are associated with lower levels of preparation as well as limited options in the face of displacement. Less preparation is associated with less favorable career adjustments following job loss as well as more severe health and emotional challenges. © The Author(s) 2012.