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Economic Recovery

Women’s Employment Update: Women Gain Most of the New Jobs in July As Low-Wage Sectors Grow

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the monthly jobs data for July today and the numbers tell the story of a recovery that is just too slow.

There was good news in July as adult women’s unemployment rate matched its recovery-era low at 6.5 percent. However, this rate is still 1.5 times as high as the unemployment rate for adult women when the recession began in December 2007. Additionally – adult African-American women, adult Hispanic women, and single moms all still have unemployment rates several percentage points above this level.

July also proved to be a less-than-impressive month on the jobs front. The economy added 162,000 jobs in July, 117,000 of which were gained by women. However, adding 162,000 jobs each month is far below what we need to get back to pre-recession employment levels including absorbing the growth in the population. In fact, here’s a (sad) fact for the day: at this pace, it will take nearly 11 years, until 2024, to close the jobs gap, according to estimates by the Hamilton Project. Read more »

Women’s Employment Update: Fourth Anniversary of the Recovery Shows Job Gains, But a Long Way to Go

Amid BBQs and Independence Day celebrations, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the monthly jobs data for June last Friday. With these new data, we can now see how the economy is doing four years since the recovery started in June 2009. Today, NWLC released a new report on how women are faring.

So what’s the main take away? Women have made much better job gains in the recovery over the past couple of years, but there is a still a long way to go to a full recovery.

Our new report gives you all the details on the numbers, but here are a few key points:

  • Unemployment rates have declined for adult women and dramatically for adult men since the start of the recovery: from 7.6 percent in June 2009 to 6.8 percent in June 2013 for adult women and from 9.9 percent in June 2009 to 7.0 percent in June 2013 for adult men. However, unemployment rates for both adult women and men in June 2013 were still more than one and a half times higher than in December 2007.
    Unemployment Rates for Women and Men, Recession and Recovery

Another Halloween Treat: Jobs Data Show another Month of Strong Growth

The October jobs data were released today by the BLS and while it can’t compare to our stash of Snickers and Peanut Butter Cups, we’re happy to say the news is generally pretty sweet.

171,000 jobs were added in October, continuing several months of strong job growth. Job growth has picked up steam in recent months. However, the recovery has still moved more slowly for women: women regained only 39 percent of the jobs they lost during the recession while men regained 45 percent. Although women gained public sector jobs this month, heavy job losses in the public sector over the recovery continue to be a major factor in the weaker economic recovery for women.

Job change in the recovery (June 2009 - October 2012)

Overall unemployment is essentially unchanged from last month the slight increase to 7.9 percent is due primarily to jobless workers starting (or restarting) their job hunts. This was also the reason for the small rise in the unemployment rate for adult women, up to 7.2 percent in October. Read more »

Labor Day: A Time to Take Stock of Women’s Progress

Labor Day provided a moment to take stock of how women are doing in today’s economy. For many, it’s not a pretty picture.

This might seem surprising given that during the recovery many of the occupations that have shown the most rapid growth are occupations where women hold the majority of jobs. Unfortunately, these occupations are also marked by low wages.  In fact, low-wage jobs have grown almost three times faster than middle and high-wage jobs during the recovery.

The top ten fastest-growing occupations include: retail salesperson; restaurant servers; personal and home care aides; office clerks and customer service representatives—jobs where women make up the majority of all workers. All of these are occupations that pay low wages.

In fact, there are 2.4 women for every 1 man working in occupations with median earnings for full-time work below the federal poverty threshold for a family of four. Likewise, women make up 2 out of 3 minimum wage workers. Often women’s work is synonymous with low-wage work. Read more »

President’s Plan Won’t Leave Women Behind the Way the Recovery Has…

The story goes that the recession ended in June 2009, meaning that we have been in recovery for over two years. The reality for women has felt like anything but a recovery. NWLC research shows that while job growth has begun – albeit slowly, with only 639,000 jobs added between June 2009 and August 2011 – women have actually lost 345,000 jobs since the start of the recovery. Women’s unemployment has been on the rise (increasing from 7.7 percent in June 2009 to 8.0 percent in August 2011), and nearly half of all jobless women are among the long-term unemployed who have been seeking work for more than six months.

Recognizing some of these realities, the President included provisions to ensure that women share in the benefits of the job creation plan he unveiled last night. Read more »