The Great Mancession Just Got Even Worse
Despite some recent signs that the recession probably ended this summer, the employment news for men sure hasn't gotten any better, and actually continued to worsen in August. The BLS employment report today shows that the Great Mancession deepened to an unprecedented level in August, as male unemployment jumped by almost a half percent to 10.9% (from 10.5% in July) compared to the .10% increase for women, from 8.1% in July to 8.2% in August.
The new male-female jobless rate gap of 2.7% in August (10.9% male vs. 8.2% female) sets a new record for the highest gender jobless rate gap in either direction, as well a record for the highest male-female gap in BLS history back to 1948 (see chart below). There were some months in the 1960s and 1970s when the female jobless rate exceeded the male jobless rate by 2.5%, and there was a 2.5% male-female jobless rate gap in May, but the 2.7% male-female gap in August sets a new historical record.
The chart above shows how the male-female jobless rate gap during the most recent recession compares to the 1990-91 and 2001 recessions, and it's not even close. Following the 2001 recession the male-female jobless rate gap reached a peak of 0.9% in July 2003, and following the 1990-91 recession the maximum gap was 1.1% in January 1992. Therefore, the 2.7% gap in August is exactly 3 times the .90% gap in 2002, almost 3 times the 1992 gap.
Another way to see how bad the current employment situation is for men is that the August jobless rate of 10.9% is just slightly below the highest-ever male rate of 11.2% in December 1982 by only 0.30%. For women, the current rate of 8.2% isn't even close yet to the highest-ever female jobless rate of 10.4% in December 1982.