What Accounts For Slow Gains For Women As Economy Improves?

The economic outlook may be slowly brightening, but a new report by the National Women’s Law Center shows that overall, women are faring worse then men in getting back on their feet.

According to the report, three years into the recovery women have gained back only 24 percent of the jobs they lost during the recession. This is in contrast to men who have gained back 39 percent. One of the explanations for the differences is the continued purge of public sector jobs: for every 10 private sector jobs women gained in the first three years of the recovery they lost more than 4 public sector jobs. For me this figure is ten to one.

Ever since the economy began hemorrhaging jobs the question has been how to measure job losses across gender. Initially men suffered a disproportionate amount of the job losses as manufacturing and construction industries collapsed. But as these latest numbers demonstrate, once hiring picked up in the private sector men fared far better than women, and if we consider the fact that women still get paid less then men for equal work, those gains look all the more modest.

So what can account for the difference beside the continued assault on the public sector workforce? Gender discrimination in hiring is one obvious answer which means we need now, more than ever, strong anti-discrimination laws and enforcement if our families are to finally see some relief from one of the greatest economic downturns in recent history.

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Photo graphic from National Women's Law Center

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Ian Fletcher
Ian Fletcher3 years ago

Higher taxes for the rich please!

Joe V.
Joe V.3 years ago

What has Obama done to all you poor women??

Adam S.
Adam Schmidt3 years ago

I think it's a conspiracy. It must be the Republicans fault.

Kenneth D.
Kenneth Davies3 years ago


Tamara H.
Tamara H.3 years ago

Wait, you didn't cry gender discrimination when you admitted that initially men were disproportionately laid off. How can you cry the reverse when they are disproportionately being rehired? Couldn't be a bit of gender bias, now could it?

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia3 years ago

It's a shame, women need jobs just as much as men do, especially single moms.

Stefan Dwornik

Women are the bedrock of humanity, and yet they face/deal with so much injustice because of their sex. Women as mothers wives wear so many hats, and they are the best at multi-tasking, and yet have to work harder, paid unequal wages, general disrespect. I wish to thank SUZANNE for reminding me that CARE2 is about caring about more than yourself, and hurt feelings should reflect CARE. Now because of Suzanne (THANK YOU) I am going to take a few days a way from the site to get back to what I know I should be on for. I find myself being drawn into fights, and CARE2 is about debating to learn, to grow, to become better than we were yesterday. In anger and haste I sent a note to Suzanne meant for another, for which I am quite ashamed, her disappointment, hurt, and her patient ON POINT words I will reflect on so I can get back on track. We aren't on to fight, be cruel, but because it's CARE@ , and not HATE.com