- Posted By: Lisa M. Rawleigh
- Written by: Pew Research Center
Published on: November 2, 2011
The sluggish recovery from the Great Recession has been better for men than for women. From the end of the recession in June 2009 through May 2011, men gained 768,000 jobs and lowered their unemployment rate by 1.1 percentage points to 9.5percent. Women, by contrast, lost 218,000 jobs during the same period, and their unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percentage points to 8.5percent, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
Employment trends during the recovery have favored men over women in all but one of the 16 major sectors of the economy identified in this report. In five sectors, notably in retail trade, men have gained jobs while women have lost them. In five other sectors, including education and health services and professional and business services, men gained jobs at a faster rate than women. And in an additional five sectors, such as construction and local governments, men lost jobs at a slower rate than women. The sole exception to these patterns is state government, a sector of the economy in which women have added jobs during the recovery while men have lost them.
Trends in the Unemployment Rate
Changes in the unemployment rate for women and men transcended race, ethnicity and nativity. Men, whether Hispanic, white, black, Asian, native born or foreign born, experienced higher increases than women in the unemployment rate in the recession. The recovery has proceeded uniformly for men across race, ethnicity and nativity -- the unemployment rate has dropped for all groups of men.
Among women in the recovery, the unemployment rate for white women decreased, but it increased for Hispanic, black and Asian women. The unemployment rate for native-born women was virtually unchanged, but it increased for foreign-born women.
Changes in the unemployment rate confirm the unique nature of the current recovery. It is the first recovery in which the unemployment rates for men and women have gone in opposite directions -- falling for men but rising for women.
Source: Pew Research Center, “In Two Years of Economic Recovery, Women Lost Jobs, Men Found them”, July, 2011, http://pewresearch.org/pubs/2049/unemployment-jobs-gender-recession-ec