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Center for American Progress

NEW ANALYSES: Job Outlook Still Bleak; Millions of Women Shifting to Primary Breadwinners for Families
Press Release

NEW ANALYSES: Job Outlook Still Bleak; Millions of Women Shifting to Primary Breadwinners for Families

Two new CAP analyses outline widespread job losses, find three out of four jobs lost since 2007 have been men’s jobs

WASHINGTON, DC–Two new reports released today by the Center for American Progress delve into recently released job loss data. Here are their findings:

Job Outlook Still Bleak

By David Madland | June 5, 2009

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View the timeline of job losses

Widespread job losses continued in May, pushing the economy toward a number of dubious achievements. Long-term unemployment is now at an all-time high, jobs have declined for a record number of consecutive months, work hours are the shortest since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking the data, and many other indicators of labor market distress are at or near historic levels.

The Labor Department figures released today were better than many economists predicted. Employers shed 345,000 jobs in May, which is fewer than in recent months. It is good news that the rate of job growth has slowed, but you would need rose-colored glasses to claim that the labor market is anything but grim and the economy isn’t mired in recession. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is beginning to pump money into the economy—$43.7 billion has already been spent—but job growth will take more time.

May’s job losses—excluding the current recession—are the worst one-month performance since 1980. The economy has now shed 6 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007, and nearly half of those (2.9 million) have been lost since the beginning of this year.

Read the full report

View the timeline of job losses

Women Breadwinners More Important than Ever

By Heather Boushey | June 5, 2009

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View the interactive graphic

Men have lost a higher share of jobs during the current recession, pushing up the share of women on payrolls. Women accounted for nearly exactly half (49.7 percent) of all payroll jobs as of April 2009, the latest data available.

The reason that women are an increasingly large share of those employed is because three out of four jobs lost during our Great Recession, which began in December 2007, have been men’s jobs. Industries dominated by men have suffered the largest jobs losses so far. Men have lost 74.7 percent of all nonfarm jobs and 72.4 percent of all private-sector jobs since the recession began, according to new April 2009 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Establishment Survey.

The Great Recession has left millions of women nationwide to be the primary breadwinner—a task made more challenging since women typically earn only 78 cents for every dollar men earn.

Read the full report

View the interactive graphic

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