While men have seen faster job growth than women in the recovery from the Great Recession, women's job growth sped up in the third year, according to a new analysis released today. But job-wise, they are still playing catch-up ball with their male counterparts. On an industry-by-industry basis, women have either lost proportionately more jobs or gained proportionately fewer jobs than men over the course of the last three years.
In the three years since the recession officially ended in June 2009, men and women have seen job gains in several industries, including education and health services for women, professional and business services for both, and trade, transportation and utilities for men, according to analysis release today by the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR).
Men are slightly ahead overall in terms of job growth, but women are finally beginning to catch up, the IWPR said. As of this June, 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.
The most significant gains for women were posted in the third year of recovery, when women gained 500,000 more jobs that they did in year two. By comparison, in the third year, men fell short of their second-year job gains by 19,000 jobs.
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 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."