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Women’s Job Gains Continue to Catch Up to Men’s

Washington, DC—According to analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research of the August employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), private sector job growth continued in August with 103,000 jobs added to nonfarm payrolls. However, BLS reported that there were 7,000 fewer jobs in government resulting in a net total of 96,000 jobs added to nonfarm payrolls in August. Of these, women gained 43,000 jobs, or 45 percent of the total, and men gained 53,000 jobs.
Women’s employment growth was aided by strong growth in education and health services (22,000 jobs added for women), leisure and hospitality (14,000 jobs added for women), professional and business services (13,000 jobs added for women) and trade, transportation, and utilities (10,000 jobs added for women). Women lost 16,000 jobs in government in August.
IWPR analysis of the BLS payroll data shows that women have regained 41 percent (1.1 million) of the total jobs they lost in the recession from December 2007 to the trough for women’s employment in September 2010 (2.7 million). The picture looks somewhat better for men: men have regained 49 percent (2.95 million) of the jobs they lost between December 2007 and the trough for men’s employment in February 2010 (6.1 million). In the last year, from August 2011 to August 2012, of the 1.8 million jobs added to payrolls, 669,000 or 37 percent were filled by women, and 1,139,000 or 63 percent were filled by men. The gap between women’s and men’s employment is 1.9 million jobs in August.
According to the household survey data reported by the BLS, the unemployment rate for women aged 16 and older declined from July to August (to 7.8 percent from 8.1 percent). The unemployment rate for men aged 16 and older declined slightly (to 8.3 percent from 8.4 percent). As of August, 12.5 million workers remain unemployed.
The Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women and their families, promote public dialogue, and strengthen communities and societies. IWPR is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that also works in affiliation with the women's studies, public policy, and public administration programs at The George Washington University.

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