Pink is the New Red: NWLC Analysis Shows Women Lost Jobs During Two Years of ‘Recovery’

Women lost 281,000 jobs from June 2009 to June 2011, while men gained 805,000 jobs
Published on Jul 8, 2011 – 8:41:19 AM

By: National Women’s Law Center

image001.gifWASHINGTON, D.C. July 8, 2011 – Analysis by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) using data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that women have lost ground in the job market in the two years since the recession officially ended in June 2009. Women have 281,000 fewer jobs today than two years ago, and their unemployment rate has risen to 8.0 percent from 7.7 percent at the start of the recovery. In contrast, men have gained ground: men have 805,000 more jobs than two years ago and their unemployment rate was 9.1 percent in June 2011, down from 9.9 percent when the recovery began.

Data for June 2011 show a dismal month for the job market, with only 18,000 jobs added to the economy—the lowest number since the economy began to regain jobs in October 2010. Women gained just 9,000 jobs last month, while their unemployment rate remained the same as in May (8.0 percent). Men also gained 9,000 jobs last month and their unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent (compared to 8.9 percent in May).

“In the job market, pink is the new red,” said Joan Entmacher, NWLC Vice President for Family Economic Security. “With so few jobs added last month and the overall unemployment rate at 9.2 percent, the recovery clearly has been anemic—but for women, it has been largely nonexistent. We had hoped that by now—two years after the recession officially ended—women would finally begin to experience net job growth, but they are still in the red with few signs that a real recovery is on the horizon.”

During the recession, men lost seven in ten of the jobs lost. But since the beginning of the recovery, men have regained 15 percent of their lost jobs, while women have gained no net jobs. In fact, women lost an additional 13 percent of the jobs they lost during the recession.

NWLC has been closely tracking women’s unemployment status since the recession began three and a half years ago. In January, the Center uncovered a surprising trend: while men disproportionately lost jobs during the recession, their job growth in the recovery has outpaced that of women.

Today NWLC also released a sector-by-sector analysis that shows women are faring worse than men in most job categories: losing jobs while men gained; losing more jobs; or gaining a smaller number of jobs. For example:

· In financial activities, a sector that includes banking and real estate and is nearly 60 percent female, women lost 150,000 jobs while men gained 9,000. In the manufacturing sector, which is about 30 percent female, women lost 115,000 jobs while men gained 94,000.

· Women lost nearly the same number of jobs that men gained during the recovery in retail trade (women lost 168,800 jobs while men gained 172,800) and trade, transportation and utilities (women lost 235,000 jobs while men gained 239,000), sectors that are approximately 50 percent and 40 percent female, respectively.

· In the information sector (which includes publishing and broadcasting jobs and is roughly 40 percent female) and the public sector (which encompasses federal, state and local government and is nearly 60 percent female), both women and men experienced additional job losses during the recovery – but women lost more than twice as many jobs as men.

· Both men and women gained jobs during the recovery in professional and business services, a sector that is roughly half female, but men gained more than twice as many jobs as women. In the leisure and hospitality sector, which is also about half women, men gained 20 times as many jobs as women during the recovery (120,000 vs. 6,000).

· In the private education and health services sector, women gained more jobs (469,000) than men (280,000); however, in a sector that is more than three-quarters female, men gained 37 percent of the new jobs.

· In construction, men lost more jobs (396,000) than women (94,000) during the recovery; however, in a sector that is only 13 percent female, women suffered 19 percent of the job loss.

“It’s striking that the recovery is worse for women in such a variety of sectors: those that are male-dominated, those that are balanced, and those that are female-dominated,” said Katherine Gallagher Robbins, NWLC Senior Policy Analyst for Family Economic Security.

As negotiations continue in Washington on a deal to reduce the deficit and raise the country’s legal borrowing limit, “the last thing women need are federal spending cuts that will cost them jobs—but that is exactly what they may get,” Entmacher said. “Our analysis clearly demonstrates an urgent need for measures that will create jobs, not eliminate them. Moreover, to generate a true recovery that works for ordinary Americans, any deficit reduction plan must increase revenues from those with the greatest ability to pay and protect programs for struggling women and families. Deficit reduction must not come on the backs of women.”

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About faithadvocatesforjobs

Public Policy Intern, Interfaith Worker Justice
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