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All of May’s Job Gains Go to Women as Recovery Slows, NWLC Analysis Shows

June 01, 2012

 (Washington, D.C.) Analysis by the National Women’s Law Center of jobs data for May 2012 released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that in a month in which the economy added just 69,000 net jobs, women gained 95,000 jobs while men lost 26,000 jobs.  May was the second largest monthly job gain for women in the last twelve months.  However, during the recovery overall, women have gained only 22.5 percent of the 2.5 million net jobs added. 

 “Although women continued to make job gains last month, the slowdown in overall job growth since the beginning of this year is troubling news for families and the economy,” said Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security at the National Women’s Law Center.  “Today’s data reinforce the need for policy makers to invest in job creation and boost family income to stimulate demand.”

The largest job gains for women in May came in private education and health, and retail.  Men’s job losses were concentrated in construction and retail.  Manufacturing added 12,000 jobs with men gaining 9,000 jobs and women gaining 3,000 jobs.  In the private sector overall women gained 98,000 jobs in May while men lost 16,000 jobs.  The private sector has gained more than 3.1 million net jobs during the recovery with women accounting for 29.4 percent of the growth.

The public sector lost 13,000 jobs last month; men lost 10,000 while women lost 3,000.  During the recovery overall, the public sector lost 601,000 net jobs, most of which – 348,000 – were held by women. 

The unemployment rate for adult women remained steady at 7.4 percent and the unemployment rate for adult men rose to 7.8 percent in May from 7.5 percent in April.  Some economically vulnerable groups of women and men saw larger increases in unemployment.  The unemployment rate rose for adult African American women to 11.4 percent in May from 10.8 percent in April; the unemployment rate for single mothers rose to 10.9 percent in May from 10.2 percent in April.  The unemployment rate for adult African American men rose to 14.2 percent in May from 13.6 in April; for adult Hispanic men, the rate rose to 9.6 percent in May from 8.6 percent in April.

The long-term unemployment rate—the percentage of unemployed workers looking for jobs for 27 weeks or more—increased for adult women last month to 46.0 percent, up from 45.2 percent in April; the long-term unemployment rate for adult men rose to 47.8 percent, up from 47.4 percent in April. The long-term unemployment rates for both adult women and men are about 17 percentage points higher than at the start of the recovery.

“This is no time for deep budget cuts that will cost jobs,” Entmacher said.  “We need a jobs program that rebuilds our crumbling infrastructure, puts teachers back in the classroom, and protects the millions of Americans who are still struggling to make ends meet.”

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