FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
According to an Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) analysis of the July employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), although the total number of jobs lost in the recession has been recovered (138,780,000 jobs in June 2014 vs 138,350,000 jobs in December 2007 when the recession began), men are still short 582,000 from their pre-recession peak. Women regained their peak in September 2013. In June, women gained 158,000 jobs on nonfarm payrolls, while men gained 130,000 for an increase of 288,000 total jobs in June. The unemployment rate decreased to 6.1 percent in June from 6.3 percent in May.
In June, women’s employment growth was strongest in Education and Health Services (39,000 jobs gained by women), Professional and Business Services (34,000 jobs gained by women), Government (26,000 jobs gained by women), and Leisure and Hospitality (24,000 jobs gained by women).
In June, women hold 1.0 million more jobs on payrolls (68.6 million) than at their previous employment peak in April 2008 (67.6 million), indicating they have more than recovered all the jobs they lost in the downturn. Men have regained 90 percent (5.5 million) of the jobs they lost between December 2007 (70.8 million) and the trough for men’s employment (64.7 million) in December 2009 (6 million jobs lost). The gap between women’s and men’s employment is 1.6 million jobs in June, substantially less than at the start of the recession (3.2 million jobs in December 2007).
In the last year, from June 2013 to June 2014, of the 2.5 million jobs added to payrolls, 49 percent were filled by women (1,217,000 jobs) and 51 percent were filled by men (1,278,000 jobs). In this time period, women’s job gains were strongest in Professional and Business Services (322,000 jobs added for women), Education and Health Services (292,000 jobs added for women), Leisure and Hospitality (202,000 jobs added for women), and Retail Trade (167,700 jobs added for women). In the same one year period, however, women lost 4,400 jobs in Utilities. Men’s job gains were strongest in Professional and Business Services (325,000 jobs added for men), Leisure and Hospitality (191,000 jobs added for men), and Construction (166,000 jobs added for men). However, men lost 28,000 jobs in Information, 11,000 jobs in Government, and 4,000 jobs in Nondurable Goods Manufacturing between June 2013 and June 2014.
According to the household survey data reported by the BLS, the unemployment rate for women aged 16 and older decreased to 5.9 percent in June from 6.2 percent in May. The unemployment rate for men aged 16 and older decreased to 6.3 percent in June from 6.4 percent in May. Among workers aged 20 and older, unemployment is higher among black women and men (9.0 percent and 10.9 percent respectively) and Hispanic women and men (7.2 percent and 6.4 percent respectively) compared to white women and men (4.8 percent and 4.9 percent respectively). Among single mothers (female heads of households), the unemployment rate declined to 8.1 percent in June from 8.4 percent in May, indicating continued difficulty for these women in finding jobs (this series is not seasonally adjusted and can fluctuate due to small sample sizes in the household survey).
The overall labor force participation rate remained steady at 62.8 percent in both May and June. Women’s labor force participation rate decreased from 57.0 percent in May to 56.8 percent in June, or 2.6 percentage points lower than the 59.4 percent rate in December 2007. Men’s labor force participation rate was 69.2 percent in June, or 3.9 percentage points lower than the 73.1 percent rate in December 2007. In a report issued in February 2014, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that about half of the decline in total labor force participation is due to the aging of the U.S. population.
As of June, 9.5 million workers remain unemployed and, of these, 3.1 million (33 percent) have been unemployed for 27 weeks or longer, usually referred to as the long-term unemployed. As of June, a larger share of black (34 percent of black women and 39 percent of black men) and Asian (34 percent of Asian women and 32 percent of Asian men) unemployed workers have been out of work and looking for 27 weeks and longer, compared with both white (27 percent of women and 30 percent of men) and Hispanic (29 percent of women and 25 percent of men) unemployed workers.