More on the Great Mancession of 2008-2009
The chart above (click to enlarge) shows May unemployment rates by industry from the current BLS employment report (Table A-11), and employment by gender in selected industries. The chart helps explain the Great Mancession of 2008-2009 and the historically unprecedented male (10.5%) - female (8%) jobless rate gap of 2.5%.
Two of the hardest hit sectors in the current recession are construction (19.2% unemployment rate) and manufacturing (12.6% unemployment rate), both far above the 9.1% average jobless rate (from Table A-11), and those sectors are predominantly male industries: 97.5% of construction jobs in 2008 were held by males, and males held 70% of the manufacturing jobs (data here).
On the other hand, the growing education (74%) and health services (75%) sectors are predominantly female, and the government sector is 57% female; and those two industries have jobless rates far below average. The unemployment rate for education and health services workers (4.9%) is about half the average rate of 9.1%, and government workers enjoy a jobless rate (3.1%) that is about 1/3 of the average rate.