According to a new report released by the Joint Economic Committee led by Senator Charles E. Schumer and Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, equality is a problem not just as it relates to getting jobs, promotions and salaries but also in terms of job loss.
The report, called "Equality in Job Loss: Women are Increasingly Vulnerable to Layoffs During Recessions," analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and found the following:
- When women lose jobs, families lose a large share of their income and experience greater economic volatility.
- In recessions prior to 2001, women could buffer family incomes against male unemployment because they did not experience sharp job losses. However, this changed in the 2001 recession as women lost jobs on par with men in the industries that lost the most jobs. In the 2001 recession, compared to men, women lost a larger share of jobs in manufacturing and trade, transportation and utilities. In the other high-job-loss industries, women lost about the same share of jobs as men.
- The lackluster recovery of the 2000s made it difficult for women to regain their jobs – women’s employment rates never returned to their pre-recession peak. Especially striking is that as of 2008, the female employment rate is about six percentage points below where it would have been had women’s employment stayed on its trend line from 1948-2000.
- Over the past three decades, only those families who have a working wife have seen real increases in family income. Families with a non-working wife have income today that is about the same as it had been in 1973, adjusting for inflation.
The report’s purpose is to create a cause for new government programs to help families survive during the current economic downturn, but it also paints an interesting picture of the U.S. workforce and the current state of where women are positioned within it.
What do you think?