Goodbye, Mancession. Hello, He-Covery.


Today’s jobs report for June managed to stun economists with its overall shittiness. But separate numbers suggest that what recovery we have made disproportionately benefits men.

Because of job losses in construction and manufacturing, men were hit extra-hard in the recession. But now they’re finding jobs in traditionally female-dominated fields like health care and private education, while other sectors where mostly women work, like teaching and local government, are getting slashed. Overall, The Washington Post notes of the Pew study, “Since the recent recession ended in 2009, men have added 768,000 jobs, while the number of jobs held by women has fallen by 218,000.” We have a new cute term for this: he-covery.

Via Matt Yglesias, here’s a chart showing the loss of public-sector jobs since the beginning of 2009, which also happens to be when Obama took office. That’s a total of 500,000 jobs lost.

In the state-by-state battles over public-sector unions’ bargaining rights for the jobs that do remain, female-dominated sectors like nursing and teaching have fared particularly poorly. As Natasha Vargas-Cooper pointed out in an April op-ed in the Times, “Just as Rust Belt Republicans have deftly exploited longstanding stereotypes about public workers as lazy, pampered and gorging themselves on the taxpayers’ teat, they have also made cynical use of gender clichés to try to keep female-dominated unions in their place.”

And economics blogger Mike Konczal noted this morning that the “employment-population ratio for women is at lowest rate since 1988. Remember those End of Men stories?” We do indeed.

Of course, men still lost more jobs overall and that hasn’t been reversed, cautions David Leonhardt: “Men haven’t outperformed women in the recovery nearly as much as men underperformed women in the recession.” And one fact of our economy hasn’t changed either: none of this has been “nearly enough to close the gap between the sexes: Men remain more likely to work, and more highly paid, than women.” What comforting stability.

Men, Hit Hardest In Recession, Are Getting Work Faster Than Women [WP]
Men, Women, And The Great Recession [NYT]
The Conservative Recovery Continues [Yglesias]
Job Growth Falters Badly, Clouding Hope For Recovery [NYT]
Related: We Work Hard, But Who’s Complaining? [NYT]

Image by Steven Dressler.

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