The sequester is looming and recent estimates have shown that it would cost 750,000 jobs in 2013 alone. These losses would ripple through the economy, including public sector workers and government contractors, workers in other sectors who support these industries, and jobs in the overall economy that are supported when public sector workers spend their paychecks. These cuts would fall heavily on public sector employees – teachers, health care workers, first responders – a sector which can ill-afford more losses.

In fact, new NWLC analysis shows that for both men and women the public sector was the ONLY major sector which lost jobs between January 2012-January 2013. The sector overall lost 74,000 jobs in the last year, 63,000 of which – over 85 percent – were women’s jobs. Since women make up about 57 percent of public sector employees, the cuts in 2012 represented strikingly disproportionate losses for women.

Sadly public sector job loss in 2012 just carried on the trend from the recovery overall. Since June 2009 the public sector has shed 721,000 jobs, 63 percent of which were women’s jobs. These continued losses have dramatically slowed the recovery for women – since the recovery began, women’s public sector job losses wiped out 25 percent of their private sector job gains.

Job change by industry and gender, January 2012-2013Click for full size.

The sequester would be terrible for the economy and would only further slow the recovery – for both women and men.