Slow Recovery Left Women Behind in 2010, NWLC Finds

For Immediate Release

National Women's Law Center
Contact: 

Maria Patrick or Andrea Maruniak, 202-588-5180

Slow Recovery Left Women Behind in 2010, NWLC Finds

Women Experienced only 10.8 Percent of Last Year’s Job Growth

WASHINGTON - Data
released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for December,
completing the U.S. employment picture for 2010, reveal an alarming
gender imbalance in the distribution of jobs gained last year, according
to an analysis by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC). 

“The
economic recovery is sluggish at best, but women are being largely shut
out of it,” said NWLC Co-President Nancy Duff Campbell.  “And
if the continued pressure on state and local budgets leads to further
layoffs in the public sector, 2011 may be even worse for women than
2010.” 

During the recession (December 2007 - June 2009) men suffered 71 percent of the job loss.  For
the first six months of the recovery, men and women lost a similar
number of jobs, resulting in men accounting for two-thirds of all lost
jobs between December 2007 and the end of 2009.  But as the pace of the recovery quickened in 2010, women were largely left behind.  Of the 1.11 million jobs added to the economy between January and December 2010, only 120,000—just 10.8 percent—went  to women.

NWLC
found that heavy job losses in public sector employment that
disproportionately affected women were a major reason for the dismal
employment picture for women in 2010. Women represent
nearly 57 percent of the public workforce but lost 86 percent of the
220,000 jobs cut in this sector during 2010.  

The
data also show that the unemployment rate for women rose during 2010
while men’s unemployment rate declined. The unemployment rate for women
increased from 7.8 percent in January 2010 to 8.1 percent in December
2010.  The unemployment rate for men decreased from 10 percent in January 2010 to 9.4 percent in December 2010. 

For some, employment trends in 2010 were even more ominous.  The
12.3 percent average annual unemployment rate for single mothers in
2010 is the highest average annual rate for this group since data have
been recorded.  The average annual unemployment rates in
2010 for African-American women (12.8 percent), African-American men
(17.3 percent), Hispanic women (11.4 percent), and Hispanic men (11.7
percent) represent the highest average annual rates for each of these
groups in at least 25 years.  Average unemployment for
these vulnerable groups was even higher than the 9.8 percent annual
average unemployment rate for men overall, which also represents an
historic high. 

“With
unemployment still so high, and so few women benefiting from last
year’s modest job growth, it is clear that job creation must be the top
priority for the 112th Congress. Now is clearly
not the time for spending cuts that will cost jobs, hamper the slow
recovery, and harm women and families struggling to survive this
crisis,” Campbell said.   

 

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The National Women's Law Center is a non-profit organization that has been working since 1972 to advance and protect women's legal rights. The Center focuses on major policy areas of importance to women and their families including economic security, education, employment and health, with special attention given to the concerns of low-income women. For more information on the Center, visit:  www.nwlc.org.

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