Today’s release of March’s jobs data reports a slowdown in job growth and other troubling signs for workers and the economy. Our analysis shows increases in unemployment for some vulnerable groups, and finds a sizable share of jobs added were in low-wage sectors.
The overall unemployment rate in March was unchanged from February at 5.5 percent, and the unemployment rate for adult women (20 and older) was likewise flat at 4.9 percent. However, adult African American women’s unemployment rate rose for the third month in a row, marking a troubling trend for 2015. At 9.2 percent, it is now a full percentage point higher than it was in December 2014. Unemployment rates also rose for adult Latinas and single mothers in March from February. Read more »
Today’s BLS release of February’s employment data shows a drop in overall unemployment and big gains in jobs, but these strong overall numbers hide an uneven recovery that has left many women out. While women’s unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in over six years, some groups of vulnerable women continue to face high unemployment rates, and nearly forty percent of the jobs women added in February were in low-wage sectors.
Women’s unemployment rate is at a 6-year low, but many groups of women are left out Read more »
Today’s BLS data release shows the economy is moving in the right direction. The engines are revving but we need to step on the gas. Women gained 39 percent of the jobs added in January, but half of women’s gains were in the low-wage sectors of retail and leisure & hospitality that don’t pay enough to support a family.
Half of women’s job gains in January were in low-wage sectors We told you last month how job growth was still disproportionately low-wage, and this month one-third (32 percent) of all jobs added in January were in the low-wage sectors of retail and leisure & hospitality. Women added 25,000 jobs apiece in retail and leisure & hospitality– growth in these two sectors accounted for half (49 percent) of the 101,000 jobs that women added in January. One-fifth (21 percent) of men’s jobs added were in these sectors.
Overall, women accounted for 39 percent of the 257,000 jobs added in January, also seeing strong gains in private education & health services (+40,000) and losses in the public sector (-16,000) and professional & business services (-1,000). Read more »
Today’s release of jobs and employment data shows huge job growth for November, with the economy adding 321,000 jobs. This is great for both women and men—women added 108,000 jobs, making up a third of all jobs gains. Women saw the largest gains in professional & business (including temporary help services), private education & health services, and retail.
Most groups of women also saw a decrease in their rate of unemployment. The rate for women overall decreased slightly to 5.3 percent from 5.4 percent in October, adult Hispanic women declined to 6.4 percent from 7.0 percent, and white women to 4.5 percent from 4.6 percent. Single mothers’ unemployment rate declined to 8.2 percent from 8.7 percent. African American women, however, were the only group of women whose unemployment rate went up—increasing to 9.6 percent from 9.4 percent in October. All groups of adult men saw an increase in their unemployment rates. The unemployment rate overall stayed the same at 5.8 percent. Read more »
In September 2014, adult women’s unemployment was above the rate for men, 5.5 percent for women compared to 5.3 percent for men. Women’s and men’s unemployment rates have been moving closer together for some time, but this is the first time the unemployment rate for women has been above that of men since December 2012. Read more »
August’s jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics comes as somewhat of a disappointment today, as the economy broke its six-month streak of adding more than 200,000 jobs each month. The job growth slowdown is not the only disappointment to note in today’s report. While unemployment rates for all other groups of workers are lower now than they were a year ago, African American women are experiencing the same rate of unemployment as they were in August 2013—10.6 percent.
Overall, the story that came out of today’s jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is a positive one. The economy added 288,000 jobs in June and 158,000 of those jobs (54.9 percent) went to women. Read more »
In May, women’s gains accounted for 40 percent of job growth, with 86,000 of the 217,000 new jobs since April. However, look a little closer and the picture is less rosy.
What stood out to me right away were women’s losses in public sector jobs. Although public sector employment overall increased by 1,000 this month, the gains were all in men’s jobs. Women lost 8,000 public sector jobs in May and since the recovery began in June 2009, women’s public sector job losses have wiped out 13.0 percent of their private sector gains. Men’s public sector job losses have wiped out 5.6 percent of their private sector gains. Government cuts resulting in public sector job losses have slowed the recovery, and this is especially true for women. Read more »
Most of the early headlines reporting on today’s jobs numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics celebrated the “surge” in payrolls and the “plummeting” of the unemployment rate. The report does give us some reasons to be optimistic—the economy added 288,000 jobs in April and the overall unemployment rate declined by 0.4 percentage points to 6.3 percent—but a deeper dive into the data shows a more complex picture.
April job gains were disproportionately low-wage for women:
Women gained 166,000 of the 288,000 jobs added in April, while men gained 122,000 jobs.
Women’s gains – but not men’s – were disproportionately in low-wage sectors (specifically, retail and leisure & hospitality). These industries accounted for more than three in every ten jobs women gained (31 percent) but only one in every ten jobs that men gained (10 percent).
Women accounted for 81 percent of the 63,000 jobs added in the retail and leisure & hospitality sectors.
The percentage of mothers who stayed at home increased from a low of 23 percent in 1999 to 29 percent in 2012, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center [PDF]. This represents a turn-around from the trend in previous decades, when the percentage of mothers who stayed at home steadily declined from 47 percent in 1970.
There are many possible explanations for the recent increase in the number of mothers staying at home—but economic factors clearly play a major part.
Women deciding to enter today’s labor force face daunting prospects—unemployment rates remain well above pre-recession levels and jobs are hard to come by. In fact, Pew reports that the share of women who stay home with their children because they cannot find a job has risen by five percentage points since 2000. And when jobs can be found, they are very low-wage. NWLC analysis shows that over one-third of women’s job gains [PDF] since 2009 have been in the 10 largest low-wage occupations, which typically pay $10.10 or less per hour. Read more »