The Today Show’s “Life Inc.” section on MSNBC.com reports that job losses during the “Great Recession” of 2007-09 impacted men much greater than women that some dubbed it the “mancession”, but once the economy began recovering — ever so slightly — men saw much stronger job growth than women. A Pew Research Center report stated women actually lost jobs in the first two years of the recovery, however there’s recent evidence that the trend is turning. Over the past few months, researchers have seen women gaining jobs at a pace roughly in line with their male counterparts.
The Institute for Women’s Policy Research, in a report analyzing data by gender from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), said men and women each gained about 206,000 jobs in the last three months of 2011.
BLS research indicates the unemployment rate for men and women is now roughly even, primarily because the unemployment rate for men has dropped so sharply. The unemployment rate for women over 20 was 7.9% in December compared to 8% for men in the same age group percent — down significantly from the 9.8% jobless rate for me in June 2009.
Job creation finally appears to be picking up steam as American employers added about 200,000 jobs in December and the overall unemployment rate fell to 8.5%. However, economists still want to see much bigger monthly job gains and lower unemployment rates for both men and women.
Although researchers can’t cite a specific reason why women didn’t see job gains in earlier stages of the recovery, some think cuts in state and local government funding were a likely factor, as job losses occurred in sectors with higher percentages of women workers such as education and social services. By contrast, male-dominated industries such as manufacturing were among the first to see big job losses in the recession, and also the first to recover. Basically, the “women’s recession” started later and the recovery kicked in later.