It's unclear why the husband's job loss is so important when it comes to divorce.
"I could speculate that losing a job might bring with it depression or some other kinds of mental health issues," Killewald said.
There is some suggestion in the data that among couples where both spouses work full time, divorce is less likely if the man shoulders more household chores. But that finding could be due to chance, she said.
The link between a husband's job loss and a higher risk of divorce doesn't surprise Daniel Shaw, chair and professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh.
"The study is interesting because it suggests that males are still expected to bring home the bacon to some extent," says Shaw, who is unaffiliated with the new research.