A new report issued by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research confirms just how deep Americans have had to pull back since Great Recession. This is particularly true for women, and the consequences are likely to be devastating.
Americans in general are reeling from the very high levels of job loss seen during the Great Recession of 2007-2009, and women and single mothers in particular are reporting higher rates of financial strain and daily hardship. The report shows that they are having difficulty paying for basics like food (26 million women and 15 million men), health care (46 million women and 34 million men), rent or mortgage (32 million women and 25 million men), transportation (37 million women and 28 million men), utility bills (41 million women and 27 million men) and they have difficulty saving for the future (65 million women and 53 million men).
This is just the latest in a string of bad economic news for women. Data from the Census Bureau shows women’s poverty rates at the highest since that data was tracked, with the number of children in poverty at near 50% in some populations.
“The survey results show how much hardship American families are still facing as a result of the long and deep recession,” said Dr. Heidi Hartmann, IWPR President and a MacArthur Fellow. “Clearly, American workers need jobs and a federal jobs program could make a big difference, especially one that targets jobs typically held by women, like teaching, since our data show that women have been harder hit than men in this recovery.”
The numbers also paint a bleak picture for young women. That’s because young women have faced disproportionate hardship in entering the labor market to start. Of those aged 18–34, 50 percent report unemployment for at least one month during the two years prior to the survey — twice the rate for men (24 percent) in the same age group.
This is a problem with no easy solution and very little leadership coming from Washington. Americans may be finally willing to push back against those policies that crashed our economy. The question is, will it be in time?
Photo from DianaLisa via flickr.