Another reason why cohabitation just doesn't provide the benefits -- to both men and woman -- that marriage does.
...unemployment among men across all sorts of employment classes (service-sector workers, sales workers, unskilled laborers, professionals) is lower among those who are married than among those who are single or cohabiting. This gap in unemployment between men of different marital states has persisted across 50 years of labor history, recessions included.
Furthermore, this isn’t a matter of less-employed men being unable to get married (i.e., a so-called selection effect); it’s a matter of fewer men being trained through the institution of marriage to straighten up, fly right, and hang onto their jobs. Men who are already inclined to work less or who are only able to work less aren’t just shifting into cohabitation or singleness. Were that the case, as marriage declined and as less-employed men dropped out of the highly-employed group of married men, married unemployment would drop even further.
Finally, the difference in the labor habits of those men who are and those who aren’t married, and our culture’s shift away from early and lasting marriage, should be cause for concern—if we’re at all concerned for the health of our economy. These two factors alone account for about half the fall-off in men’s labor participation since the 1960s.
Marriage is a formative institution—to say nothing of the courtship process leading thereto. Speaking as a recently-married twenty-something, I can attest to the fact that there’s something about a girl ruling out the prospect of living together before he puts a ring on it that tends to weed out the slackers and commitment-phobes. And the guy who marries a girl, formally and legally, will become more productive as he works to provide for her and their children than he ever would have otherwise. -LifeSiteNews