Posted on August 5, 2011 Issues: Data on Poverty & Income Unemployment

(Washington, D.C.)  Analysis by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) using data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for July 2011 shows that women continued to fall behind as the recovery entered its third year. While the overall job market improved slightly, adding 117,000 jobs last month, women lost an additional 19,000 jobs. The 44,000 jobs women lost in the public sector in July wiped out their small gains of 25,000 jobs in the private sector.

“Women were already losing ground in this so-called recovery, and a closer look at today’s data show that the job market continues to worsen for women, despite modest improvements overall,” said Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security at the National Women’s Law Center.  “The main reason for women’s grim employment picture is the elimination of public sector jobs. So it’s particularly troubling that policymakers have just agreed to deeper cuts to public services that will mean more job losses, especially for women, and weaken an already anemic economic recovery.”

July’s job loss figures, based on a survey of employers, came on top of the job losses women have experienced thus far during the recovery. While men lost most of the jobs during the course of the recession, women have fared worse during the recovery. Since June 2009, when the recovery started, through July 2011, men have gained 998,000 jobs overall, but women lost 301,000. Both men and women have lost jobs in the public sector, but women account for 70 percent of the 523,000 public sector job losses. Both men and women have gained some jobs in the private sector, but women have gained only 5.5 percent of the 1.22 million jobs added since the start of the recovery.

Both women’s and men’s unemployment rates, based on a survey of households, declined slightly from June to July, from 8.0 percent to 7.9 percent for women and from 9.1 percent to 9.0 percent for men. However, women’s unemployment rate for July is higher than their 7.7 percent rate at the start of the recovery. In contrast, men’s unemployment rate for July is nearly a full percentage point lower than their 9.9 percent rate at the start of the recovery.
However, the long-term unemployment rate increased for both women and men in July. The percentage of jobless women unable to find work for 27 weeks or more increased to 45.0 percent in July from 44.2 percent in June; the percentage of jobless men unable to find work for 27 weeks or more increased to 47.9 percent in July from 46.8 percent in June.

“Today’s jobs data show that there is still no recovery for women,” Entmacher added.  “Policymakers need to change course and focus on creating jobs and providing help for the millions of Americans for whom a recovery is still out of reach.”