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.
Photo graphic from National Women's Law Center