Today’s release of March jobs data brought far less exciting news than February. The economy added only 88,000 jobs last month, less than 30% of which went to women and unemployment rates were little changed for adult women and men, hovering around 7 percent.
Here are the numbers that stood out to me as we crunched the numbers for today’s NWLC analysis:
- 25,000: That’s the number of jobs women gained in March and it’s less than 30 percent of the total jobs added last month. It’s a tiny number and nowhere near what is necessary for a real recovery. Since the recovery started in June 2009, women and men have each gained private sector jobs, but public sector losses continue to hold everyone back – particularly women.
- 12,000: That’s the number of manufacturing jobs that women lost last month, while men gained 9,000. Just a few weeks ago we published an analysis of how the manufacturing recovery has been nonexistent for women. In his State of the Union address, President Obama praised the manufacturing gains since January 2010, just three years prior. But here’s the full story: Since January 2010, the economy has gained over a half million manufacturing jobs — men have gained 557,000, while women have actually lost 36,000. This isn’t a recovery for women in “man”ufacturing.
42.4: That that’s the percent of jobless adult women who were unable to find work after more than six months of searching in March. The figure for men was 41.0 percent, meaning that more than four in ten jobless adults have been actively looking for work since October or earlier. For those of you watching opening day baseball games this week , think back to last season’s World Series – that’s at least how long these jobless workers have been searching. As the overall unemployment rate continues to edge downward, this rate just won’t fall.
So what do these numbers show? They show the recovery is fragile, yet lawmakers continue to consider drastic cuts. It’s time to reverse course: let’s forget cutting and focus on investing. That’s what millions of Americans and their families need most.