Friday, January 09, 2009

The "Man-Cession" Continues to Worsen

According to today's BLS report (Table A-1, Household Data), the U.S. economy lost 2.956 million jobs in the last year (Dec. 2007 to Dec. 2008). Further analysis shows that 82% of the job losses (2.413 million) were jobs held by males, and 18% of the jobs losses (460,000) were jobs held by females (see top chart above). Of the 806,000 decline in December employment (household data), 91% of the job losses were male jobs (730,000), compared to a 76,000 job loss for females (9% of total).

Further, the December unemployment rate for men is 7.9% vs. only 6.4% for women, and the gap in jobless rates between men and women has been increasing for the last eight months (see bottom chart above).

See previous CD posts on this topic here and here.


At 1/09/2009 9:42 AM, Blogger Milena said...

I'm interested in why this is happening. My infant theories:

a. Men cost more - I mean, that's been the rally cry for years, men make way more than women. Firing them saves more money?

b. Lawsuits are expensive. Firing women probably leads to way more lawsuits than firing men.

c. Women care too much about work. Even if they are paid equal to men, they probably perform higher because they are so busy proving themselves worthy. Therefore they are the better bargain of the sexes.

At 1/09/2009 9:49 AM, Blogger bix1951 said...

My opinion is that layoffs are in industries where mostly men are employed such as construction and factory work.

It would also be important to know the breadwinner status of the unemployed men.

Usually the rate of unemployment for married men is very low.

At 1/09/2009 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing how your "infant theories" confirm feminist bias.

a)The "men earn more myth" has been destroyed by more studies than I can count. When wages are adjusted to reflect voluntary withdrawal from the workforce, women make as much or more than men.

b)It's probably true that men are less inclined to sue over being laid off. It's also true that they are less inclined to whine about many other things.

c)"Perform higher"? Complete bullshit.

At 1/09/2009 12:16 PM, Blogger Ironman said...

bix1951 is correct.

The jobs numbers for December 2008 (and January 2009) are going to contain a lot of individuals who support the auto industry.

With all the big three (but especially GM and Chrysler) shuttering plants in December, many of which plants will continue their shutdown into February, a lot of their people are on temporary leave, which makes them eligible to receive unemployment "benefits."

As a result, these individuals are being counted as being unemployed, even though they currently still have jobs they can go back to when production resumes. That will keep the unemployment numbers high as many, if not most, of these individuals will not be seeking new employment while they expect that they'll go back to their "current" jobs in the next months.

The newest numbers are also the first in a very long time that are more heavily weighted to include adults (Age 25+), with most of the growth in unemployment between November 2008 and December 2008 represented by this group.

Prior to December, teens (Age 16-19) and young adults (Age 20-24) were bearing the greatest blunt of unemployment in a far greater share with respect to their actual representation within the population of employed individuals.

At 1/09/2009 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Here is one way to figure it out. You own a Biz. with an office.
You hire someone as a receptionist. A position opens in your Company for a prop. Manager, Leasing Agent, E-Ray Tech. or what ever. You have a girl sitting right there who has some understanding of your Biz. a little College education and you can replace her job with less effort then training some one from out side to work inside your Company. The Woman moves up the ladder.

Guys are not sitting right there answering a phone and the Boss does not see them working in the mail room.

Women have put themselves in positions of opportunity and Blue Collar guys are competing with third world labor.
Look in the want adds for States like CA, TX, AR. And see how many jobs guys do that requires Bi-Lingual Applicants.


At 1/09/2009 2:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole women what ever answers Milena are stating are a bunch of BS. The male/ female wage disperity is non existanct when you adjust for years experience in the workforce and therefore stage in one's career. Women on average withdraw for more years to have and raise children and therefore on average have less work experience. If employers could really get away with hiring women for less per unit of output, why would any firm hire men? Any firm that hired women would instantly have a compeditive advantage. We would see something like in Malasia where the minimum wage is higher for men and the result is factories dominated by women workers. We don't see that here.

In reality, it completely has to do with the tyypes of industries that have been effected by the recession. The two ares hit the hardest have been manufacturing and construction, both of which are dominated by something like 80% men. The two areas that have still been growing are education and healthcare, which are dominated by women. Women on average have just been luckier this time around with regards to the types of industries that are declining.

At 1/09/2009 5:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it'd be interesting to compare the male/female unemployment rates in the states hardest hit by the housing bubble (FL, CA, NV, AZ, etc)

At 1/09/2009 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to worry, the Democrats are on the case. They've decided to address this crime against humanity with a sop to their major donors, the trial lawyers.

From the WSJ:

Well, that didn't take long. Democrats are planning to kick off the legislative portion of the 111th Congress as early as today with two big donations to one of their most loyal retainers: the plaintiffs bar. Higher labor costs will result from a pair of bills designed to create new lawsuit possibilities in cases of alleged wage discrimination.

There would no longer be time limits on such discrimination claims. They could be brought long after evidence had disappeared or witnesses had died -- as was the case with Ms. Ledbetter's former boss.

For the tort bar, this is pure gold. It would create a new legal business in digging up ancient workplace grievances. This would also be made easier by the bill's new definition of discrimination. Companies could be sued not merely for outright discrimination but for unintentional acts that result in pay disparities.

Since these supposed wrongs could be compounded over decades, the potential awards would be huge. Most companies would feel compelled to settle such claims rather than endure the expense and difficulty of defending allegations about long-ago behavior. The recipe here is file a suit, get a payday. And the losers would be current and future employees, whose raises would be smaller as companies allocate more earnings to settle claims that might pop up years after litigating employees had departed.

Read it all, it gets worse.

At 1/09/2009 7:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Women hold many of the jobs in government, jobs which do not disappear during economic downturns.

At 6/27/2009 4:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alot of 30- & 40-something professional women did not "voluntarily" leave the job market; many of them saw their careers stagnating or couldn't find a job after a layoff so they decided to "start a family" since they were alreay not working and figured being able to say "I took time off to raise my kids" is a better story than I was out of work for a couple of years.
As a Gen-X with two top 10 degrees (engineering + MBA) I have too many lawyer/banker/mgmt consultant girlfriends who were forced down this path, who would have loved to continued down their career path so they could pay those student loans & use all that schooling.


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