Why The Economic Recovery Is Slower For Women
It has been a little over three years since the U.S. government witnessed one of the worst economic downturns in its history. However, the recovery has not been balanced. Some groups are benefiting from the recovery greatly while some are still suffering. This has been the case for women in America. According to a report by National Women's Law Center, since the economic recovery, women have gained back 24% of the jobs they lost, whereas men have gained back nearly 40%. The women of America have felt the effects of the downturn and have been recovering slower than males.

SEE: How Do Women Compete In A Man's World?

Public Sector Job Cuts
One of the things that can be attributed to the slow economic recovery for women is job cuts in the public sector, both federal and state. According to a report from the National Women's Law Center, women have lost nearly twice has many jobs in the public sector as men. Women have lost 396,000 while men have only lost 231,000. The future isn't looking too bright either. Jobs in the public sector are expected to shrink even more in the coming years, with the field losing close to 700,000 jobs by 2015. This will no doubt have an even more staggering effect on the female unemployment crisis. The losses have primarily happened at the state level, which is where the majority of the public sector jobs dominated by women - such as teachers - are located.

Job Growth in Male-Dominated Fields
Another reason for the slow economic recovery for women is the slow growth of available jobs in female-dominated fields as opposed to the rise of positions in male-dominated fields. A recent study shows that job growth has occurred in fields such as manufacturing and food services, which are dominated by males. Jobs in the retail and teaching industry, which are typically dominated by women, have fallen.

It is also worth mentioning that males are also finding their way into fields previously dominated by women. The healthcare services industry is seeing a rise in male occupants competing for jobs that used to seem like they were guaranteed for women.

Women in Specific Age Groups
Something that is worth mentioning about the female job crisis is that it seems to primarily be affecting younger and older women, while women in the middle have not felt the effects as much. Women who are 18 to 24 and 50 and up have seen the most significant rises in unemployment rates, while the women who are between the ages of 25 and 50 are retaining their jobs.

This can be attributed to the fact that, in these hard times, more companies are requiring their employees to be college-educated. A college degree has now become almost a necessity in the job market and that's something that women in their 50s might not have.

The Bottom Line
The job market has made significant strides as of late, but as we all know, it hasn't been enough. What is puzzling is the fact that women fared better than men did during the recession. Women were finding and retaining jobs at a much higher rate. As the recession ended, men saw an increase of roughly 2.6 million jobs from the fourth quarter of 2009 to the fourth quarter of 2011. Women saw only around 600,000 over the same time frame. Also, it is worth noting that since then, unemployment has dropped by 3.4% for men versus 2.9% for women.

SEE: How Do Women Compete In A Man's World?

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