Women Now Losing Jobs as Men Gain Them

By most accounts the economic recovery has, at best, been sluggish, but even so it has been a better recovery for men than women.  That’s according to a new report by the Pew Research Center.

According to the report, from the end of the recession in June 2009 through May 2011, men gained 768,000 jobs and lowered their unemployment rate by 1.1 percentage points to 9.5%.  Women, on the other hand, lost 218,000 jobs during the same period, increasing their unemployment rate by 0.2 percentage points to 8.5%.

These changes represent a dramatic turnaround from what had been described as a “he-cession” where men had lost more than twice as many jobs as women.

In the 16 major sectors of the economy identified in the report men gained ground over women in all but one.  The only exception to the job data is in the area of state government where women added jobs during the recovery while men lost them.

According to the Pew Report, the Great Recession has defied historical gender norms in terms of labor and economic participation.  Women fared better then men in the first two years of all other economic recoveries since 1970.  The historical data is significant because it coincides with an era where women have, generally, gained jobs at a faster rate then men.

There is no clear answer why women are on the brunt end of the recovery.  What the Pew Report does show is that men are making stronger advances across the economic spectrum than women.  For example, women lost a total of 433,000 jobs in manufacturing, retail trade and finance during the recovery.

When these kinds of numbers show up, and in light of the attitude embraced by our corporate sector and enshrined in law via decisions like WalMart v. Dukes, it is hard not to come to the conclusion that insidious discriminatory impulses are again driving hiring, pay and promotion practices.


Alessia C.
Alessia C.6 years ago

yes its time to create our own jobs

Ernest R.
Ernest R6 years ago

@ Abbe A “time to create our own jobs as best we can” I think that is our best hope. In addition to the out sourcing that will continue as long as US wages are not lower than anyone elses, The ‘investment class’, the corporate sector, is going for the innovation that some suggest. That means they are feverishly replacing human jobs with technology to eliminate their greatest expense. A payroll that workers can survive on. Welcome to the brave new version of democracy.

SeattleAnn S.
Ann S6 years ago

Love your comment Ernie M. I can't give green stars yet, but I'd certainly give you one if I could. Funny and on-point.

Lika S.
Lika P6 years ago

Interesting. I think it's kind of going into a split thing here... Some office type jobs were given to women, because the payscale is still lower for women then men. But, with the fact that men seem to prefer being the breadwinner (it's a pride thing), women are understanding more if the men take lower paying jobs than what they had, so they can bring home the bacon, and for what ever reason, the women aren't working full time. But, many a single moms or those w/o children are still working full time, so it just seems like the unemployment numbers of today aren't making as much sense as what they used to, because there are so many other factors to look at.

Debbie L.
Debbie Lim6 years ago

Not fair. Men are always the favorites when it comes to hiring someone for a job.

Ernie Miller
william Miller6 years ago

For some reason there is a Republican Big buisness hatred of women. so the numbers dont suprise me. After all acording to the new Government and Big money pushing the new Government Women should be home and pregnant cowering to their husband overloards.

trina firey
Trina D. firey6 years ago

Women have to ban together to fight discrimation of the female gender, solely.
There is no reason for women to be treated as less valuable than men.

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Michele G.
Past Member 6 years ago


Thaddeus W.
Thaddeus W6 years ago

At least for some time now, there are strong reasons why Great Depression II has been dubbed the "Mancession" or the "Hecession." Not only from about every job report I've heard for years, but amongst all the people I know who have been actively seeking employment for years, women are faring MUCH better. Most jobs that men were more apt to do were generally the first to be outsourced and the industry areas that have been most thoroughly outsourced. The jobs that are left are increasingly service-oriented (e.g. customer support) which are more apt to hire women. The women's movement that many of us have fought long and hard to make the gains that we have has brought an incredible array of incentives, scholarships, job boards, employment programs, empowerment, training forums, schooling, etc, etc, etc solely for women. Of course to do anything comparable for men would be immediately shut-down as "discrimination" or "sexist". I find it hard to think of a job sector where (credentials being equal) that it is nothing but an advantage to be a woman.

It may be that the data that author Jessica P is looking at is recent enough not to be counting the countless millions (mostly men) who have been unemployed for many years and long ago ceased to be among the employment statisitcs.....