Remember the term ‘mancession’? If you’re a man, you’re likely thanking your lucky stars it’s mostly over. If you’re a woman though, you’re likely thinking, “I’m still in this ladycession,” or whatever feminine term you can use to dub the loss of jobs by thousands of women during the recession.
Let’s back up a bit, here. When the recession hit in 2007, the loss of jobs across the board effected men more than women. Hence the term ‘mancession’. When the country started to go back into recovery, or what some may call a recovery, men saw a much stronger gain in jobs than women. If you look at the statistics from a Pew Research Center report, women actually lost jobs in those first two years of recovery while men gained their momentum back. As the recession slowly picked up for the men around them, the ladies were looking on helplessly wondering when their own momentum would pick up. According to reports from TODAY, women are finally starting to see the signs of job recovery.
Looking at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women and men both gained about 206,000 jobs each in the last three months of 2011. Apparently, these job gains by women were enough to even out the losses from the earlier stages of the recession recovery. This past December, statistics showed that 43,000 more women were employed than in June of 2009 when the recession officially ended. Hopefully with this, women all over the country can rejoice in the slow ending of their ‘ladycession’.
Remember, though, that this is just a toddler’s step towards complete jobs recovery and women (and men too) still have a long way to go before they are up to par with pre-recesssion numbers. Joan Entmacher, Vice President for family economy security at the National Women’s Law Center, states that of the 1.4 million jobs that have been created since the recession ended, women have only seen a tiny portion. Furthermore, if you look at the unemployment rate of women aged 20 and over in December, it was at 7.9 percent, which is still a bit higher than the rate it was in June of 2009 at the end of the recession. On the contrary, men over 20 are met with an 8 percent unemployment rate when in June of 2009, it was at 9.8 percent.
What, then, is the reason for this increased gain in jobs for men and not so much for women? It might not be one specific reason, but rather a number of reasons that work conjunctively against women and their job gains. For one, as Spark News discussed earlier, manufacturing has seen a lot of growth the past two years and that industry is mainly male-dominated. Furthermore, the manufacturing industry was the first to see great losses in the beginning of the recession and therefore has had more time to recover. On the flip side, state and local government funding has been drastically cut more recently resulting in great job losses in the sector. For example, education and social services have seen large cut backs and those jobs are largely filled by women. With that, it’s easy to see the uneven jobs scale between men and women. The recession for men started earlier, so in turn, their recovery started earlier also. Women didn’t start to see the recession greatly effect their jobs until later, so respectively, their recovery is later.
Other factors such as women not seeing themselves as ambitious as they were in earlier years can come into play, too. According to a study Spark News reported on in earlier weeks, 43 percent of the women they surveyed admitted that they see themselves as less ambitious than they were 10 years ago and only 15 percent see themselves as more ambitious. That could mean that less women are trying to get back on the bandwagon and find another job. This reason is speculation at best and the idea that men experienced the recession earlier is much more concrete.
Whatever the reason, though, the job market is picking up for women all over the country and any signs of new life stirring are good signs in our book.