The Great Recession is often called a "mancession" because most of the jobs that the economy shed were lost by men. Between December 2007 and June 2009—the recession’s official timeframe, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research—jobs held by men accounted for more than 70 percent of all those lost.
The past year has seen an upswing, although the gains have been too tepid to make a dent in the unemployment rate. Here, too, the trajectory has been different for men and women—but now it’s women who are the losers. For the full year of 2010, the private sector added jobs every month, and for the past three months it averaged 128,000 per month. In 10 of these 12 months of gain, however, the growth in jobs for men outpaced the growth for women. Last summer, women actually lost jobs while men saw small increases. And in total throughout 2010, men gained slightly more than a million jobs, while women gained a paltry 149,000. Did the relative strength of women’s employment in the downturn signal that their jobs are recession-proof? That’s not what it looks like now.
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