Women Gain as Recession Batters Male-Dominated Fields

Men have lost 3 times as many jobs as women since Dec. 2007

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 3, 2009 12:32 PM CDT

(Newser) – The US job market is closer than ever to gender equality because the recession has most heavily affected male-dominated industries, USA Today reports. Women held 49.83% of the nation’s jobs as of June. Since the recession began in December 2007, 74% of the 6.4 million jobs lost have been positions held by men. In local government, the inequality is particularly striking: regional authorities have fired 86,000 men while hiring 167,000 women.

The recession’s gender effect stems from the fact that manufacturing and construction—traditionally male professions—have been hit hardest. Meanwhile, more women then men work in the most resilient sectors: health care, education, and government. Gender inequality persists; women still earn 77% of what men make for the same work, hold more part-time jobs, and are disproportionately restrained by “glass ceilings” from executive leadership positions.

In this photo taken on Oct. 24, 2008, nurse Donna Audia performs Reiki on a patient at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.   (AP Photo/Rob Carr)
Morrow High School librarian Melissa Payne poses for portrait outside the school in Morrow, Ga. on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009.   (AP Photo/Joe Sebo)
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It was a long historical slog to get to this point,"
- Heidi Hartmann, president, Institute for Women's Policy Research

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