Women gaining job growth momentum

Although men have experienced quicker job growth than women during the recovery, women's job growth moved along faster in the third year, according to a new analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research of employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Despite this, within each industry, women have either lost proportionately more jobs or gained proportionately fewer jobs than men during the past three years of the recovery, which started in June 2009, the analysis shows.

Between July 2011 and June 2012, men gained 19,000 fewer jobs than they did in year between July 2010 and June 2011 while women gained 500,000 more jobs during the third year than they did over the second year, the analysis reveals. However, men remain slightly ahead regarding job growth, though women are now trailing as they have regained 38.7 percent of jobs they lost during the recession. Men have regained 45.2 percent of those jobs.

Even in education and health services, which are both dominated by women, men's employment grew 9.1 percent between June 2009 and June 2012. Women's employment marginally grew 4.8 percent. Although the growth for women was smaller, it did help women gain 713,000 jobs in the last three years and 64.5 percent of the 1.1 million new jobs in those sectors since June 2009.

"The recovery is finally reaching women," says 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. 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."

When counted together, men and women saw the largest employment growth over the last three years in professional and business services with 1.4 million new jobs and education and health services at 1.1 million added jobs. Government jobs account for the biggest loss for men as well as women with 633,000 jobs cut. Public-sector job loss hit women hardest as they lost 64.1 percent of the 633,000 jobs eliminated.

Mining and logging experienced the largest gender difference in employment changes as men's employment grew by 23.6 percent while women's employment grew by 17.5 percent. In the manufacturing sector, men's employment increased 4 percent, and women's employment fell 2.7 percent. For the leisure and hospitality industry, men's employment increased 4.3 percent, and women's employment grew rose 3.5 percent, representing the smallest gender difference in job gains.

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