FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Unemployment among women who maintain families without the support of a spouse is at 13 percent as of December 2009, the highest rate in more than 25 years, according to today’s figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That figure has grown by 0.8 percentage points since the Institute for Women’s policy Research released a fact sheet Unemployment Among Single Mother Families (September 2009) and 2.7 percentage points since January 2009. Their unemployment has nearly doubled since the start of the recession in December 2007.
Women are currently 49.9 percent of nonfarm employees on payrolls. As more families, both dual earner couples and single mother families, are increasingly relying on the earnings of women, greater attention needs to be made to pay equity. Women working full-time earned only 81 percent as much as men who worked full-time in the third quarter of 2009. These seasonally unadjusted data show increases in married men’s unemployment and decreases in married women’s unemployment; the seasonally adjusted data show a decrease in married men’s unemployment from November to December 2009 and little change for married women. (Seasonally adjusted unemployment data are not available for women who maintain families.)
 Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers in the third quarter of 2009 for women are $657 compared to $812 for men. (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/wkyeng.pdf, October 16, 2009).