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Better Jobs News in July - But Not in the Public Sector

It’s the first Friday of the month and we’re back with your monthly dose of jobs data. The data released today detail that the overall economy added 163,000 jobs in July, with women gaining just over half of those jobs.

So what’s the big takeaway from the jobs data for July? Public sector jobs.

I’m sure that you’re beginning to think we sound like a broken record over here, but the truth is that public sector job losses are harming both women and men in the recovery, but especially women. Despite the fact that women picked up a few thousand public sector jobs this month, their overall losses still drive their slow recovery.

In fact, here’s a statistic to drive the point home:

Women's Private Sector and Public Sector Jobs infographic

Over the recovery (June 2009 to July 2012), women have lost 403,000 public sector jobs, while men have lost 239,000 public sector jobs. Both of these figures remain in stark contrast to private sector gains: 970,000 jobs for women and over 2.4 million jobs for men.

Here are a few quick facts that also came out of this month’s report:

  1. The overall unemployment rate ticked up ever so slightly in July to 8.3 percent. The same happened for adult women (to 7.5 percent), while adult men saw a slight drop in their unemployment rate to 7.7 percent.
  2. However, unemployment rates for vulnerable groups still remain high. Adult black women (11.5 percent), adult black men (14.8 percent), adult Hispanic women (10. 5 percent), adult Hispanic men (8.2 percent), and single moms (11.7 percent) all have unemployment rates that remain higher than for adult women or men overall.
  3. Long-term unemployment held steady at a high rate this month. More than four in ten adult women and men are still looking for work after more than six months of searching.

 So what can we do about all of this? Congress is out of session this month, but that means they are back home in their districts. See if you can track down your member and pass along this message:  We need policy makers to stop causing job losses by continuing cuts to education, health care, public safety and other services. We need Congress to stop pretending that tax cuts to the rich will trickle down to help the economy. We need jobs and it’s time for Congress to act.

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