Friday, September 04, 2009

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.


At 9/04/2009 9:07 AM, Anonymous Unemployed and Loving It! said...

That's right brother men, let's put those bitches to work!

I'm sure as hell happy to stay at home with my feet propped up on the deck, enjoying a beer, and watching ESPN on cable. And if I feel like it, me and a few buds will put in 18 holes before Sugar Momma comes home from a lo-o-ong day at work.

Ahhhhh... America. Land of the free...

At 9/04/2009 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are no signs that the recession ended this year and this chart is proof of it.

Now let's get ready to hear the parrots squawk.

At 9/04/2009 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Women are paid less so they are more economical to keep around.

At 9/04/2009 3:41 PM, Blogger OA said...

Anonymous, the problem is there's no set definition of "recession". Using the GDP, the recession started well after the offical start.

But using changes in unemployment as a measure of a recession probably leads to way more "recessions" than have been called.

If you want to just use one statistic to prove that the other statistics aren't "signs" of a recession ending, go ahead. The rest of have to live in a world where recession/recovery isn't a flipped switch.

At 9/04/2009 4:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add to the mix the well commented upon failure of males to get as much education as females and it makes more sense. More education makes a more stable job than construction and other jobs. It would be interesting to look at the relationship between the two trends in more detail.

At 9/04/2009 5:03 PM, Blogger 1 said...

Hmmm, there seems to be lots of way to skin this unemployment cat...


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