I believe that To Do lists are an art form. There’s nothing more beautiful than a list of things you need to get done with every single item crossed off of it. Crossing off an action item gives me such a sense of accomplishment that I usually put things I’ve already done on the list, just to cross them off.
In a major speech yesterday about economic mobility, President Obama shared one of his To Do lists with us. The items on this list are much more important than the ones on my usual lists. These items are the legislative and administrative priorities that will help fix the growing problem of income inequality in the United States.
Before sharing his “roadmap” with us, the President started with a reality check. He was blunt about the fact that our economy has become profoundly unequal and families have become more insecure. He drove home the point that we are living in a country that once promised success for those who worked hard, but is now faced with rapidly rising inequality and decreasing upward mobility in a way that “challenges the essence of who we are as a people.” Each fall NWLC analyzes the poverty data put out by the Census bureau, and those sobering statistics illustrate exactly what the President is talking about. I couldn’t agree more with the President when he said that these trends are bad for families, bad for the economy, bad for social cohesion, and bad for democracy. Read more »
U.S. levels of long-term unemployment – workers who have been looking for work for more than 26 weeks – remain at historic levels. The federal emergency unemployment insurance (UI) program, which supplements state unemployment benefits, is set to expire in just over a month. In the past 40 years, Congress has not allowed federal emergency UI benefits to expire when the share of jobless workers who were long-term unemployed was above 23.1 percent. Currently, 36.1 percent, or 4.1 million Americans, are still looking for work after six months of searching.
If the federal emergency unemployment insurance program is not renewed, 2 million workers will lose their benefits in late December or run out of benefits in early 2014. NWLC’s new analysis on the importance of federal emergency UI benefits for women and their families shows that this expiration – which would be damaging to struggling families and bad for the economy – would be also be unprecedented.
There’s a lot of information packed into this chart. Here are three key takeaways: Read more »
In 2012, Social Security kept 12.1 million women and 1 million children out of poverty.
This new statistic can be calculated based on data released today by the Census Bureau. Also part of the release of new data is a report on the supplemental poverty measure (SPM) which takes into account the impact of public programs, as well as medical out-of-pocket and other expenses on families’ economic security. For more about poverty measurement, see our FAQ.
This past September, the Census Bureau released the official poverty numbers for 2012, which showed that women’s poverty remained historically high, with 17.8 million women (14.5 percent) in poverty. Our report detailed what the numbers looked like and the trends over time. But what we didn’t get to see in that data was how many people’s incomes were pulled above the poverty line by specific public programs, some of which are counted in the official poverty measure and some of which aren’t. Today, we can delve deeper into how many people were lifted out of poverty by these programs and who they were. Read more »
Women gained 125,000 jobs in August, which amount tothree-quarters of overall job growth. Most of the new jobs in August, however, were in low-wage sectors, continuing a trend we saw last month and—especially for women—since the start of the recovery. Overall, five low-wage sectors (retail, leisure and hospitality, temporary help, home health care services, and nursing and residential care facilities) made up nearly 60 percent of the net job gains in August, despite the fact that these sectors account for just over one-quarter (27 percent) of the economy.
At this rate, the purple wedge in our economy will keep growing and women will continue to struggle to find well-paying jobs. Read more »
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 »
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.
Today’s release of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) jobs data for May brought familiar news: 175,000 jobs were added to the economy and the overall unemployment rate held pretty steady, creeping up a smidge to 7.6 percent. Women gained almost half of last month’s jobs (82,000 jobs) and adult women’s unemployment rate fell to 6.5 percent in May – the lowest level since January 2009.
While these job gains are welcome, don’t pour the champagne just yet – these kinds of numbers aren’t enough to jumpstart the recovery for the millions of Americans who are unemployed – or the new workers graduating this month.
2022: As I mentioned above, 175,000 jobs added last month – that’s pretty close to the average monthly gain over the last six months. But, at this pace, it will take until 2022 to close the jobs gap, according to estimates by the Hamilton Project. They define the “jobs gap” as the number of jobs the U.S. needs to add to return to pre-recession employment levels when you account for people who are currently unemployed, as well as those who will join the economy as the population grows. So while 175,000 is pretty good, we’re going to need to add a lot more jobs each month to speed up the recovery – nine years is too long to wait for a full recovery.
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.
Yesterday the Bureau of Labor Statistics released new data on veterans’ unemployment for 2012. We analyzed the data and found that the unemployment rate for female Gulf War-era II veterans is substantially higher than for male veterans and, unlike the rate for male veterans, did not improve in the past year.
Here are six facts you need to know about unemployment among Gulf War-era II veterans:
The overall unemployment rate of Gulf War-era II veterans (those who have served on active duty any time since September 2001) declined to 9.9 percent in 2012 from 12.1 percent in 2011. However, women did not share in the decline in unemployment among Gulf War-era II veterans in 2012 – the unemployment rate for male Gulf War-era II veterans declined to 9.5 percent from 12.0 percent. The unemployment rate of female Gulf War-era II veterans in 2012, 12.5 percent, was essentially unchanged from 2011 (12.4 percent).