Friday, May 01, 2009

Gendered Job Losses

Catherine Rampell:

We’ve written a few times about how job losses during this recession have been disproportionately male. Heather Boushey, a senior economist at the Center for American Progress (a liberal think tank), pointed me toward a piece she just wrote with updated numbers on this trend.

It also includes an interactive graphic that shows where women’s and men’s jobs have been lost or gained, broken down by industry. Here’s a snapshot of the chart:

While both sexes have experienced a net job loss since the recession began, in almost every sector that hemorrhaged jobs, most of the jobs lost belonged to men. And in two out of the three sectors that netted payroll gains, the vast majority of new positions went to women.

On thing about this chart puzzles me: Why did men on net lose jobs in the government, while women gained so many? I assume this reflects a difference in the kinds of jobs that were lost and gained (e.g., outdoor jobs cleaning town sidewalks or somesuch, versus indoor jobs teaching first-graders). It’s unclear from just these numbers, though.

Good question.

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