For what seems like forever women have been fighting for pay equal to that of their men coworkers. With that struggle still prevalent, there is another one to focus on now. According to Forbes, men are getting more jobs than women in the latest economic recovery. The Bureau of Labor Statistics data for the month of November displayed a widening gap between men and women that are getting back into the job market.
During the recession, statistics showed that men suffered large job losses and the term ‘mancession’ was coined to represent their losses. As it turns out, men have made a great comeback in the job market since then, with 32 percent of the jobs lost being recovered between December 2007 and now. At the same time, women have only gained 20 percent of the jobs they lost back. Heidi Hartmann, President of IWPR and a labor economist was quoted in Forbes saying, “after a long march into the labor force during the 20th century, women’s participation in the workplace is now at the lowest it’s been since 1993.”
The article does not offer any concrete reasons as to why the gap has been widening, but Forbes speculates that layoffs in state and local government may have something to do with it. Women represent a large chunk of public state and local governments and it is only natural that if that sector is facing job cuts then more women will be losing their jobs. The article also speculates that with the recession, companies may turn to the “old-fashioned perceptions of men as breadwinners” and cause “hiring managers to pick a man when they must choose between two equally qualified candidates.” However interesting or convincing this may sound, it cannot or has not been proved so remains but a speculation. Lastly, the high cost of child care may also factor into the gap when women choose to stay at home with their children rather than pay large amounts of money monthly for child care.
Whatever the reason, women in the job market may have to work extra hard to snag that job they want in order to close the current gap between men and women in the job market. Some say that it’s unfair, but others hit the ground running enjoying a challenge.