Now that we’ve got the appointment made with the nation, it’s time to talk about jobs. The data CNN just shared says that there are 14 Million Americans among the unemployed. That’s a lot of people who are looking for work and not finding it, men and women alike.
Initially, this period of economic woe was referred to as a “Man-Cession”. As we’ve entered into a period of jobs growth (hey, let’s at least be fair and admit that it’s getting better, albeit slowly and in small steps, I’ll take better over worse any day), that period has largely been called a “He-Covery”. As jobs come back, they are going to men at a disproportionately higher rate than women. With the new jobs effort being kicked around, it looks like that gap will widen.
From the New York Times ( http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/06/mancession-to-he-covery/)
Indeed, while the number of jobs held by men has grown by 768,000 since the recession officially ended in 2009, the number of jobs held by women today is actually lower than it was at the recession’s end: There are 218,000 fewer nonfarm payroll jobs employing women today than there were two years ago. This decline is partly due to layoffs by local governments, which disproportionately employ women.
The Pew Report goes into more frustrating detail here: http://pewsocialtrends.org/2011/07/06/two-years-of-economic-recovery-women-lose-jobs-men-find-them/
As we start to hear the President kicking around ideas and plans for jobs, so far the focus on infrastructure projects is disturbing. I just don’t see that many women working in infrastructure and, when they do, it’s typically not in the higher-paying line or even leadership roles.
Don’t get me wrong- we need to do something to try to fix our economy and produce jobs. Doing nothing is simply not an option. Cutting spending as we teeter on the edge of a double dip recession (name: GreatER Recession?), cutting far back on Federal spending is a recipe for disaster and will send us still further into economic distress. The economy needs to improve. Now. Not just for the obvious economic issues, but the ongoing social and myriad other ones as well (what’s sexier in trying to find a life partner than “Um, yeah, I live with my folks…” amongst others). There must be some way, however, to ensure that women equal partners in the recovery. Mr. President, I trust that you will figure out a way to ensure that women are part of the recovery and the jobs efforts in a meaningful way with success that is shared with men. Women certainly are shouldering our part of the efforts that will pay for the entirety of these efforts- we’d really like to share in the opportunities that it creates as well.
To quote Abigail Adams, please “remember the ladies”, Mr. President.
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(c) 2011 Kathlene Mullens