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Women Pick Up Two Of Every Three Jobs Added In January, But Unemployment Is Stagnant, NWLC Analysis Shows

February 01, 2013

(Washington, D.C.)  Women gained 65 percent of the 157,000 jobs added in January.  But adult women’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.3 percent in January, equal to that of adult men (7.3 percent in January, up from 7.2 percent in December), according to new analysis by the National Women’s Law Center.  January’s private sector job gains (166,000) were offset by public sector job losses (-9,000) and women bore the large majority (89 percent) of public sector job losses – mirroring trends seen in the recovery overall. 

“Women picked up two out of every three jobs added last month, but that didn’t make a dent in their unemployment rate,” said Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security at the National Women’s Law Center. “Persistently high unemployment rates – equal for women and men – are a strong argument against cutting programs that create jobs and support families.”

Monthly Change in Jobs  (December 2012 – January 2013)


Change in Total Jobs

Change in Private Sector Jobs

Change in Public

Sector Jobs


↑ 102,000

↑ 110,000

↓ 8,000


↑ 55,000

↑ 56,000

↓ 1,000


↑ 157,000

↑ 166,000

↓ 9,000

Source: Current Employment Statistics survey                                                          


Over 70 percent of women’s job gains in January were concentrated in three sectors: private education and health (32,000), professional and business services (23,000), and retail (17,000).  Men’s largest job gains in January were in construction (23,000), leisure and hospitality (17,000), and retail (15,600). 

Monthly Change in Unemployment Rates (December 2012 – January 2013)


December 2012

January 2013


Adult Women (20+)

7.3 percent

7.3 percent


Adult Men (20+)

7.2 percent

7.3 percent

↑0.1 percentage point

Overall (16+)

7.8 percent

7.9 percent

↑0.1 percentage point

Source: Current Population Survey                                                                      


The unemployment rate for adult women (20 and older) was unchanged in January, equal to that of adult men (7.3 percent).  Rates for adult black women, adult white women, and single moms were essentially unchanged.  The unemployment rate for adult Hispanic women rose to 9.9 percent in January from 9.4 percent in December, though this figure is not seasonally adjusted.  More than 4.7 million Americans have been unemployed for six months or more.

“Today’s data and the decline in the GDP in the last quarter show that the recovery is still fragile,” Entmacher said.  “Congress needs to act responsibly and avert the looming cuts to programs and a possible government shutdown that threaten economic growth and jobs.”