(From Business Wire) -- This year’s Labor Day marked the 23rd consecutive month that women’s employment has remained virtually stagnant, according to an updated fact sheet from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). During the current recovery, men continue to outpace women in employment. Since the end of the recession in June 2009, men’s unemployment rate has dropped by one percentage point from 10.6 percent to 9.6 percent, while women’s unemployment has increased from 8.3 to 8.5 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
Since Labor Day last year, men have gained 85.7 percent of the 1.3 million new jobs on payrolls and women have gained 14.3 percent of the new jobs (1.1 million for men and 0.2 million for women). This represents some job growth improvement in the last 12 months for women, but they have still not surpassed their job total from 23 months ago.
It is difficult to trace the cause for the slow growth in employment among women. Cuts to state and local government have eliminated jobs that are dominated by women, such as elementary and middle school teachers. For example, according to IWPR’s analysis of data from BLS, in the past 12 months, government (at all levels) has shed 450,000 jobs and 304,000 of those jobs (or 68 percent) had been held by women.
“Through our survey research, we know that these job losses are affecting the security and well-being of our families,” said Dr. Heidi Hartmann, a labor economist and president of IWPR. “According to our forthcoming report, women—particularly single and married mothers—are taking drastic steps to cut costs and make ends meet, such as skipping medical appointments and not filling prescriptions, not buying things their children need, and not saving for retirement.”