Washington, U.S.A. — New analysis released by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) of employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that, while men have seen faster job growth than in the recovery, women’s job growth sped up in the third year. Within each industry, however, women have either lost proportionately more jobs or gained proportionately fewer jobs than men over the course of the last three years.
June 2012 marks the end of three years of recovery since the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009, a period that saw job gains for both women and men of more than 500,000 in several industries (Education and Health Services for women, Professional and Business Services for men and women, and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities for men).
In year three of the recovery (July 2011 – June 2012), men gained 19,000 fewer jobs than they did in year two (July 2010 – June 2011). In contrast, women gained 500,000 more jobs in year three than they did in year two.
Still, men are slightly ahead overall in terms of job growth, but women are finally beginning to catch up. As of June 2012, women have regained 38.7 percent of the jobs they lost in the recession, while men have regained 45.2 percent of the jobs they lost in the recession.
Women have either lost proportionately more jobs or gained proportionately fewer jobs than men in every industry over the course of the last three years. Even in the female-dominated Education and Health Services industry, men’s employment increased by 9.1 percent between June 2009 and June 2012, while women’s employment increased by just 4.8 percent. Still growth in this sector helped women pick up 713,000 jobs in the last three years and 64.5 percent of the 1.1 million jobs added to payrolls in the industry since June 2009.
“The recovery is finally reaching women,” said Dr. Heidi Hartmann, president of IWPR and a labor economist. “Women got more than one-third of the job gains in the third year of the recovery, much better than their share the previous year, despite the fact that women are bearing the brunt of state and local government cuts,” she said. “Economists don’t know why men seem to have a hiring or layoff advantage in every industry, but the start of a catch-up in year three is good news for women.”
For men and women considered together, over the last three years of the recovery, the largest growths in payroll numbers were seen in “Professional and Business Services” (1.4 million jobs) and “Education and Health Services” (1.1 million jobs). Men and women both lost the largest number of jobs in “Government” (a combined loss of 633,000 jobs across all three levels of government). Job loss in the public sector disproportionately affected women who lost 64.1 percent of the 633,000 jobs eliminated.
The industries with the greatest gender difference in job change were “Mining and Logging,” where men’s employment grew by 23.6 percent while women’s employment grew by 17.5 percent, and “Manufacturing,” where men’s employment increased by 4.0 percent and women’s employment actually decreased by 2.7 percent. The “Leisure and Hospitality” industry, where men’s employment grew by 4.3 percent and women’s employment grew by 3.5 percent, had the smallest gender difference in job gains.
In the three years of the recovery, women gained just over half a million jobs and men nearly a million jobs in “Business and Professional Services” (504,000 for women and 937,000 for men). While women gained more than half a million jobs in “Education and Health Services” (713,000), men gained more than a half million jobs in “Trade, Transportation, and Utilities” (613,000).