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Women Have Been Slower to Get Jobs Back Than Men, but They’re Starting to Pull Even (October 6, 2012)

By Suzy Khimm
Washington Post WonkBlog

Men have lost more jobs than women over the course of the recession—in large part because male-dominated industries like construction have suffered some of the most dramatic drops. But male employment has also recovered at a faster pace. At their lowest point of employment in early 2010, men had 6.1 million fewer jobs than in January 2007, and they’ve now regained 3 million, or nearly 50 percent, of those jobs since then, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

By contrast, women have lost fewer jobs than men—both in real and relative terms—but it’s taken them longer to recover. Since the beginning of the recession, they’ve regained 1.2 million, or 46 percent, of the total jobs they’ve lost since their lowest employment in the recession, in September 2010. That’s in part because women hold a disproportionate number of public-sector jobs, as Dana Goldstein has pointed out, which were aided temporarily through the stimulus but which have been slower to come back than the private sector.

(Source: Institute for Women’s Policy Research)

In recent months, however, women’s employment has begun to accelerate. And in the latest jobs report from September, women gained half of the jobs that were added in September, though they’re still proportionally a similar portion of the work force, according to the IWPR analysis. In particular, they’ve been aided by continuously strong growth in private health and education services, which added 40,000 jobs for women in September alone. They’ve also been helped as government jobs have started to come back as well.

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