Here’s a highlight for you in the release of last month’s jobs data: in April, adult women’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest point in more than four years. That’s right, the last time unemployment was this low was in the first months of 2009.
But hey there, hold your horses. Don’t get too excited yet!
So what else stands out in today’s jobs report? Here’s what caught my eye as we crunched the numbers for today’s NWLC analysis:
6.7 percent: This represents the good. Unemployment rates continue to fall, and women’s unemployment rate hit a four-year low last month at 6.7 percent. In April, adult men’s unemployment rate ticked up slightly, while the overall unemployment rate fell ever so slightly, also to a four-year low. Overall, we’re doing better, but we’re gaining jobs at a crushingly slow pace, especially compared to earlier recoveries.
Today’s release of March jobs data brought far less exciting news than February. The economy added only 88,000 jobs last month, less than 30% of which went to women and unemployment rates were little changed for adult women and men, hovering around 7 percent.
Here are the numbers that stood out to me as we crunched the numbers for today’s NWLC analysis:
25,000: That’s the number of jobs women gained in March and it’s less than 30 percent of the total jobs added last month. It’s a tiny number and nowhere near what is necessary for a real recovery. Since the recovery started in June 2009, women and men have each gained private sector jobs, but public sector losses continue to hold everyone back – particularly women.
12,000: That’s the number of manufacturing jobs that women lost last month, while men gained 9,000. Just a few weeks ago we published an analysis of how the manufacturing recovery has been nonexistent for women. In his State of the Union address, President Obama praised the manufacturing gains since January 2010, just three years prior. But here’s the full story: Since January 2010, the economy has gained over a half million manufacturing jobs — men have gained 557,000, while women have actually lost 36,000. This isn’t a recovery for women in “man”ufacturing.
Today’s release of February jobs data brought pretty good news – 236,000 jobs added to the economy and the overall unemployment rate dropped slightly to 7.7 percent. Unfortunately we still have a long way to go.
The overall story in February was good, but women only gained one-third of the jobs added last month. The economy added 236,000 jobs between January and February, only 80,000 of which went to women.
Public sector losses continued in February. Both women and men lost public sector jobs in February, bringing the total number of public sector jobs lost over the recovery to 462,000 for women and 280,000 for men.
Unemployment rates fell for adult women and men, but still remain unacceptably high. Adult women’s and men’s unemployment rates fell in February – to 7.0 percent and 7.1 percent, respectively. While these rates are an improvement since the recession began in December 2007, they still aren’t very good when put in historical context: apart from this recession, adult women have not seen unemployment rates above 7 percent in nearly 30 years – for men it is over 20.
The sequester is looming and recent estimates have shown that it would cost 750,000 jobs in 2013 alone. These losses would ripple through the economy, including public sector workers and government contractors, workers in other sectors who support these industries, and jobs in the overall economy that are supported when public sector workers spend their paychecks. These cuts would fall heavily on public sector employees – teachers, health care workers, first responders – a sector which can ill-afford more losses.
In fact, new NWLC analysis shows that for both men and women the public sector was the ONLY major sector which lost jobs between January 2012-January 2013. The sector overall lost 74,000 jobs in the last year, 63,000 of which – over 85 percent – were women’s jobs. Read more »
The good news this month is continued steady job growth – 157,000 jobs were added to the economy in January, about two-thirds of which went to women. The number isn’t as good as the previous few months, but shows that slowly, but surely, the economy, driven by private sector growth, continues to add jobs. The bad news in the jobs numbers came once again in the public sector: in January, public sector losses cut into private sector gains. Women disproportionately bore these public sector losses in January, mirroring a trend we’ve seen in the recovery overall.
In September 2006, the U.S. hadn't been through the Great Recession, there were no iPhones, and the country had only seen one season of "dancing" stars.
September 2006 was also the last time that adult women's unemployment exceeded men's — that is, until LAST month! According to NWLC analysis of today's new jobs data, adult women's (20+) unemployment rate climbed to 7.3 percent in December, 2012. Women's unemployment edged above men's, which at a 7.2 percent rate was unchanged from November:
Monthly Change in Unemployment Rates (November 2012 – December 2012)
Adult Women (20+)
↑0.3 percentage points
Adult Men (20+)
Source: Current Population Survey
The increase in unemployment for adult women overall was driven by new women job seekers who couldn't find work. Read more »
Today’s release of November jobs data brought a bit of extra holiday cheer to the week. Despite what pundits expected, the new data show a healthy month of job growth and continued declines in the unemployment rate for most groups of workers.
In November, the economy added 146,000 jobs and the overall unemployment rate fell slightly to 7.7 percent, its lowest rate since December 2008. Adult women’s unemployment rate fell to 7.0 percent and adult men’s unemployment rate fell to 7.2 percent. It isn’t the fastest recovery ever, but we continue to be headed in the right direction.
But before we get too excited, there’s a catch. In November 2012, more than four in ten jobless adult workers were still looking for work after more than six months of searching, including 42 percent of jobless adult women and 45 percent of jobless adult men. These rates are about one-and-a-half-times what they were at the start of the recovery in June 2009.
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.
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 »
We're back this Friday with your monthly analysis on the BLS jobs numbers. September brought some good news, and here is what you need to know:
In September, adult women’s unemployment rate hit a three and a half year low. Last month, adult women’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.0 percent – the lowest it’s been since February 2009. Similarly, adult men’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.3 percent – the lowest level since November 2008. The declines in unemployment rates from August to September show that we’re continuing to move in the right direction.
Vulnerable groups of women shared in the drop in unemployment this month. While their unemployment rates remain much higher than for women and men overall, adult African American women (10.9 percent), adult Hispanic women (9.8 percent), and single moms (11.3 percent) all saw declines in their unemployment rates this month. These rates are still too high, but it’s good to see a variety of groups of women sharing in the positive change.
Women and men shared equally in September’s job gains. This month women and men each gained 57,000 jobs, but women continue to lag behind men in the recovery overall due to public sector losses.