Who, "wears the pants" in your household? When it comes to earning, more and more wives are taking the income lead over their husbands.

This trend has been slowly evolving since the end of World War Two, according to Economic Analyst Patrick O'Keefe of J-H Cohn in Roseland. Then came the recent recession. O'Keefe says many male- dominated professions, such as manufacturing, were deeply cut, while some female-dominated sectors fared better. He says sectors such as health care were less affected by the downturn. It was the woman who had to take the lead role in providing for the household.

Unfortunately, even in many households where women have taken the earnings lead, many are still fighting an uphill survival battle.

O'Keefe also points out that while women have made workplace gains in earning, many wives still must take on the lion's share of household responsibilities, not the least of which is child-rearing.

In the latest year counted, the Fed reports almost 38 percent of wives out-earned their husbands during the year 2009.