Friday, June 05, 2009

The Great Man-Cession of 2008-2009 Continues

The BLS data released today show that the 2.5% difference between the male unemployment rate (10.5%) and female unemployment (8%) in May is the highest male-female jobless rate gap in the history of BLS data back to 1948 (see chart above of the monthly unemployment rates since 2002; and the chart below of the DIFFERENCE between male and female jobless rates since 1948). Further, the 2.5% gap matches the largest gap in either direction; there was a 2.5% female-male jobless rate gap for several months in the mid-1960s and again in the mid-1970s (see chart below, the female jobless rate exceeds the male rate for observations below the red zero line).

The chart above showing the monthly male-female jobless rate gap back to January 1948, also displays the last 11 U.S. recessions (shaded areas) and suggests the following:

1. The current male-female jobless rate gap of 2.5% is truly unprecedented; there has never been such a huge gap between the unemployment rate for men and women in any previous recession, or any previous expansion.

2. In the last three U.S. recessions (1981-1982, 1990-1991 and 2001), the male jobless rate exceeded the female rate by about 1%, but nothing close to even approaching the current 2.5% male-female jobless rate gap.

3. In the other past recessions, there either wasn't much of a male-female jobless rate gap at all, or a jobless rate gap in favor of men, like during the two recessions of the 1970s when female unemployment rate exceeded male unemployment by about 2%. However, that 2% gap in favor of men was actually fairly typical during much of the period between the mid-1960s and late 1970s, recession or not.

Bottom Line: We are experiencing an unprecedented male recession during the current economic downturn, and the "Great Man-Cession" of 2008-2009 continues to worsen.


At 6/05/2009 2:20 PM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

There is success for women because the influence of men by mentoring males is declining. Over three quarters of black/African Americans only have a female head of household. It is my guess that maybe half of the children in these households do not really know who their biological father is. Other racial households are starting to have the same circumstance.

Thus, who is the father figure? The federal government. Hmm

Tuesday's post on female college rates had a comment by Dr. T. Please refer to his writing for some very excellent insight on this subject.

At 6/05/2009 2:22 PM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

OOPS: my openig comment above should have begun; There is greater success for women...

At 6/05/2009 5:55 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...

Let's see: Men die earlier, are less educated, go to prison in vastly greater numbers. My eyeball estimate of downtown L.A. homeless is 90 percent men. Higher unemployment. Higher suicide rate. Are expected to do the dirty jobs, and they do. Combat soldiers are men.
I actually think people are responsible for themsleves, so I won't do a waa-waa and say anything needs to be done to improve the status of men.
No, we don't need men's studies departments or other incredibly stupid bs.
But it would be nice if sometime somebody noticed the real state of affairs.

At 6/06/2009 12:35 AM, Blogger David Damore said...

The real story is that more and more women are earning college degrees than men.

There have been numerous posts regarding college degree attainment of women on the Carpe Diem blog.

People with college degrees have much lower rates of unemployment.

At 6/06/2009 10:37 AM, Blogger Dad29 said...

I'd suggest, David, that your take is incomplete.

In fact, this is the gap resulting from the End of Manufacturing in the USA--a sector simply dominated by male employees.

At 6/07/2009 7:00 AM, Anonymous John Barrdear said...

I don't have the numbers to back up either claim, but perhaps this could be explained by the combination of:

a) men are over-represented in full-time work and women are over-represented in part-time work; and

b) this recession has seen an abnormally large decrease in full-time work relative to declines in part-time work.

At 6/07/2009 10:13 AM, Blogger V said...

Looking at the numbers in the rest of the report, manufacturing, construction and a couple of other male-dominated fields took big hits.

Possibly as well, since the pay gap is at about 81%, female employees are cheaper to keep on, and thus more appealing for employers.

At 6/07/2009 10:52 AM, Blogger Another David said...

Is it possible, though, that the lower female unemployment rate is so much lower because women are quicker to drop out of the labor force? If a women is having a hard time finding a new job, she might make the decision to be a stay at home mom faster than a man would decide to be a stay at home dad.

Also, in households where only one parent holds a job, it is usually the father. And in that situation, the job the father holds tends to be one that is susceptible to layoffs (i.e. manufacturing).

So the raw numbers are interesting, but I'd like to break them down and see what the real story is.

At 6/07/2009 1:02 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

People with college degrees have much lower rates of unemployment.

Then that is a problem that must be fixed. Either push towards increased enrollment and graduation of US citizens in fields of their choice as retraining or remove the requirement for a degree from consideration.

At 6/09/2009 7:27 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

This is already happening in Latin America for more than 10 years so far...

- Woman work for less money.


- They are better educated than men. Altough at the same educational level, they work for less money too.

At 6/11/2009 9:41 PM, Blogger Liberty's Lawyer said...

I'm not sure there is any evidence to suggest the women get paid less than men. That's never been in the case in any of the jobs I have had.

What is true, is that women are more likely to drop out of the labor force because of childbirth. I think these metrics don't properly account for that.


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