01 February 2011

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Reposted from Jobsanger

by Ted McLaughlin

Before the recession hit this country women were making some gains toward gender equality. They weren't there yet, but it was getting better (in spite of the fact that many in America still want women to be second-class citizens). Women still on average only earn about 80 cents for every dollar earned by men, and there are still jobs that discriminate against women (especially in hiring and promotions).

Because women generally make less than men and many are stuck in low-paying dead-end jobs, there has been an impression that this current recession has not hit women as hard as it has men. That's just not true now (if it ever was). Consider the following statistics:

* Although women lost one in three jobs that disappeared in the recession between 2007 and 2009, they have gotten only one in ten job openings that were filled in the last year (2010).

* Although women make up slightly more than half of government workers, they made up 86% of those laid-off from government jobs in the recession (and more government lay-offs are expected this year).

* During 2010, the unemployment rate for women over 20 rose from 7.8% to 8.1% (while the unemployment rate for men fell 0.6% during the same period).

* On average, it takes women over 16 about 24.3 weeks to find a new job (compared to 20.7 weeks for men).

* For older women, the job search time extends to 39.1 weeks on average (compared to 29.6 weeks for older men).

The truth is that this recession has been an equal opportunity destroyer of jobs -- hurting both women and men. But it takes women longer to find work when they lose a job and that replacement job will pay less. And the recession is not over (except for the rich Wall Street bankers -- most of whom are men). The unemployment situation is not going to get better in 2011. The country will be lucky if it just keeps up with the new people entering the work force -- thereby keeping the unemployment rate about where it is now.

And like men, there are many women who have given up finding work or are working part-time because they can't find full-time work. That means the unemployment rate is really much higher than the official government figure of 8.1%.

The recession may have started by men losing construction jobs and the like, but as it continues it is affecting women more and more (and this is affecting children more, since women are much more likely to be single-parents).

Sadly, the Republicans have taken over the House and want to continue their policy of favoring the rich -- they don't seem to care about real job creation and are blocking new job stimulus bills.

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