Women Filled ALL of the (Mostly Low-Wage) December Job Openings


Nobody wants to talk to the jobs report that was released yesterday, so it’s going to spend the entire weekend sitting alone in the cafeteria, glancing around nervously at the small groups of popular economists whispering behind its back about how crappy it is. Poor jobs report! It’s not like it contained news of Skynet going online and the impending robot takeover, and it’s certainly not the jobs report’s fault that the U.S. economy is performing with all the efficiency and rigor of a three-legged, syphilitic horse with asthma. Besides, the jobs report offered some insight on who’s really driving the economy in our post-recession landscape: working women.

According to the New York Times, all — and the paper does mean all — of the 74,000 new jobs added in December were filled by women. The Times even includes a helpful chart to illustrate this remarkable discrepancy. From the report:

Women gained, on net, 75,000 jobs in December; men lost, on net, 1,000 jobs. This was the first time since December 2007 that a month’s job gains were captured entirely by women. Women represented more than half (56 percent) of the net gain in the 12 months.

Women also lost fewer jobs during the recession, a fact that probably, as the Times notes, has more to do with the different industries men and women traditionally work in: men more often work in recession-vulnerable industries like construction and manufacturing, while women more often work in recession-“proof” industries like healthcare and government.

As with virtually all the economic news, though, there’s a pretty big caveat to this female-dominated jobs market, which is that most of women’s current job gains came in the low-wage sector. Women gained 39,000 retail jobs in December, as well as 18,000 jobs in the leisure and hospitality industries.

Image via http://www.gettyimages.com/”>Getty, Alex Wong

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