Women Lag in Job Gains

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Though private sector jobs are increasing, public sector jobs are still falling. Old news, right?percentage-jobs-gained-recovery-030912

But there’s a twist to this familiar story. Because despite coinage of the pop-term “mancession,” it turns out that women are the ones trailing in employment gains.

From Bloomberg News:

Women have lost 454,000 federal, state and local government jobs compared with 267,000 by men since the 18-month recession ended in June 2009, Bureau of Labor Statistics records indicate.

The gap has widened in the past year even as government job losses have slowed. Government payrolls cut about five times as many women as men in 2012 and the pattern is continuing. In January, women surrendered 8,000 positions compared with 1,000 for men.

We have a similar story line in Oregon as the rest of the nation. Though the overall unemployment rate is lower for women than men, employment figures have bounced back far more rapidly for men in Oregon.

Since the recession’s peak of unemployment  in 2009, men have seen a 30% improvement in unemployment (a drop of 4% unemployment) while women have seen only 10.6% improvement (a drop of only 1% unemployment.)

In other words: Among those who lost their jobs in Oregon because of the recession, men have found replacement jobs a lot faster than women.

This trend is particularly concerning with the future potential cuts. In Oregon, women make up a larger percentage of the public sector workforce than men (60% to 40%), which means that further federal or state cuts will disproportionately affect them.

As we await news of the federal negotiations, it’s worth keeping in mind that one of the big impacts of the potential federal cuts in Oregon would come in the form of cuts to schools and early learning programs. According to State Employment data, more than 67% of education service workers are women.

State budget decisions are also currently undetermined, though we should get an idea soon enough. The Oregon Co-Chairs’ budget is scheduled to be announced early next week.

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