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Women Reach a Milestone in Job Market (November 17, 2013)

Wall Street Journal

Women have recovered all the jobs they lost during the recession. Men have not.

A record 67.5 million women are working today, up from the prior peak of 67.4 million in early 2008, according to the Labor Department's latest tally of payrolls that captured the full rebound for the first time. By comparison, 69 million men currently have jobs, below their high of 70.9 million in June 2007.

The primary reason for the labor-market milestone: Women tend to hold jobs in health, education, hospitality and retail, all sectors that have weathered the economic turmoil of recent years comparatively well.

Male-dominated sectors like construction and manufacturing suffered the brunt of the recession, and men lost more than six million jobs in the recession and its aftermath. Women lost 2.7 million jobs.

"The last recession and recovery really showed how segregated the labor market is," said Ariane Hegewisch, an economist at the Institute for Women's Policy Research, a Washington-based think tank. "There was quite a bit of movement and further integration until the mid-1990s, and from the mid-to-late '90s onwards, a number of indicators have stalled," she said.

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