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Women Lost 51,000 Jobs in January, Mostly in Public Sector, NWLC Analysis Shows

February 07, 2014

(Washington, D.C.)  All of January’s net job gains went to men, according to new analysis by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) of data released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

“Today’s jobs figures are especially worrisome for women who lost 51,000 net jobs in January, including 30,000 public sector jobs,” said Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security. “Overall job growth was weaker than expected and the long-term unemployment crisis continues:  more than one in three jobless adults have been searching for a job for six months or more. The continued need for federal emergency unemployment benefits to help struggling families and boost the economy is clear. It’s a disgrace that a minority of Senators turned their backs on 1.7 million Americans whose emergency unemployment insurance benefits have already expired, and the millions more at risk.”

The economy added 113,000 jobs in January. Men captured all of the job gains, adding 164,000 jobs, while women lost 51,000 jobs.

In January, women’s largest job losses were in the public sector (-30,000), the professional and business services sector (-14,000), and retail (-5,000).  Women’s gains in January were minor – their largest job gains were in construction (+3,000) and leisure and hospitality (+3,000).

Men saw strong growth in several sectors: professional and business services (+50,000), construction (+45,000), manufacturing (+22,000), and leisure and hospitality (+21,000). Men’s largest losses were in retail (-7,900) and education and health services (-3,000).

Women’s losses in January come on top of only minor gains in December.  While it was initially reported that women captured all of December’s weak job growth, revised data show that women gained only 36,000 of the 75,000 jobs added in December. Women’s public sector losses continued a troubling recent trend: women have lost public sector jobs every month since September. In fact, women have accounted for all of 51,000 public sector jobs lost since September.

Long-term unemployment remains at historic levels. In January, over 3.6 million people had been looking for work for six months or more.  More than one in three unemployed adult men and women had been searching for a job for six months or more – prior to the latest recession these rates had not been this high in the more than 60 years these data have been recorded. Congress’ decision to let federal emergency unemployment benefits expire at the end of 2013 has cut off nearly 1.7 million workers from benefits, according to the National Employment Law Project, and another 3.2 million will lose benefits by the end of 2014 if Congress fails to act.

Unemployment rates for vulnerable groups in January remained substantially higher than the overall rate (6.6 percent), as well as the rates for adult men (6.2 percent) and adult women (5.9 percent):  adult African-American women (10.4 percent), adult Hispanic women (8.8 percent), adult African-American men (12.0 percent), adult Hispanic men (8.2 percent) and single mothers (9.1 percent). The rates for all groups are about one-and-a-quarter to one-and-a-half times higher than at the start of the recession.

 

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