The Great Mancession: Is It Gradually Ending?
The charts above are based on today's BLS Employment Situation Report and provide updates on some of the "mancession" trends I have been following now for over a year. Despite a gloomy Huffington Post story today "1 in 5 Men Don't Have a Job, the "mancession" has actually started improving gradually by some measures.
In December, the jobless rate for men (16 years and over) fell by 0.2% to 11% from 11.2% in November (see chart above), following a 0.20% drop from 11.4% in October, and marking the first back-to-back monthly decreases in the male unemployment rate since consecutive declines in December 2005 and January 2006. Further, the male jobless rate has declined or stayed the same in four out of the last six months, and the December rate is 0.40% below the peak 11.4% in October.
In contrast, the female jobless rate increased in December to 8.8% from 8.6% in November, matching the peak rate of 8.8% in October.
Those opposite moves in December (lower male jobless rate and higher female rate) lowered the male -female jobless rate gap to 2.2% (11% - 8.8%), a full one-half percentage point below the historical record of 2.7% in August, and the lowest since the 2% gap in March. The recent downward trend in the male-female jobless rate gap is consistent with the post-recession periods following the last two recessions (see second chart above).
The chart below displays the monthly household employment levels for males and females, from January 2007 to December 2009, showing that of the 8.42 million job losses since December 2007, 68% have been male jobs and 32% female jobs. But in the last 9 months since April, the monthly job losses have been fairly evenly distributed by gender, compared to the 7-month period between September 2008 to March 2009 when male job losses were more than 90% of the total job losses in two months, and more than 80% of the total in four months, and averaged 82%.
Bottom Line: One feature of the Great Recession was the unprecedented and disparate burden on men, in terms of job losses and jobless rates, i.e. the "mancession." A new record gender jobless rate gap was set in August 2009 when the male unemployment rate of 11% exceeded the female rate of 8.3% by 2.7%, the largest gender gap in history (in either direction). But as the economy now re-enters a period of economic expansion and recovery, both the Great Recession and the Great Mancession are hopefully subsiding and ending...