Where have all the women's jobs gone?
Teacher layoffs mean women gained fewer jobs during the recovery.
April 20th, 2012
11:00 AM ET

Where have all the women's jobs gone?

By Tami Luhby, CNNMoney

New York (CNNMoney) –– More jobless Americans are finding work these days, but they are mainly lucky fellas.

The "mancession" has morphed into the "hecovery," leaving women workers largely in the dust. The share of adult women who are employed is lower than it was two years ago, while men have seen an upturn.

"Even though we are seeing some recovery, we have not seen it in a recovery of jobs for women," said Heather Boushey, senior economist at the left-leaning Center for American Progress.

Mitt Romney, the leading Republican presidential candidate, started trying to capitalize on this statistic last week, telling crowds and TV viewers that women held more than 92% of the jobs lost under President Obama.

Women were generally spared the worst of the recession, accounting for only one-quarter of the jobs lost. Men, on the other hand, were hit hard by the devastation in the construction and manufacturing industries.

But the slow pace of recovery in women's employment has surprised and concerned some experts, who say it's unclear whether there will be a rebound anytime soon.

Read the full story on CNNMoney

Posted by
Filed under: Economy • How we live • Women
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. raceisamyth

    This article is propaganda and lie 100%

    April 25, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Billy

    They are in the kitchen and the bedroom

    April 23, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
  3. Rick Springfield

    I don't see the problem in my town. The two major employers right now are Devon and Chesapeake. Most of the new hires are women. Starting pay for a woman out of college is around $50,000. This is in an economy where you can get a rather nice home for under $120,000. Women are also resourceful and can start businesses that men would not even have a chance making work. I can't tell you how many new bistros and cupcake shops are now open in my town. I would say at least 50. Who would-da thought that cupcakes would sell for $5 each? They do and its a big cash business. My nephew just had his 3rd birthday and he had a tower of cupcakes as his cake. Look at any Chamber of Commerce sunset reception and its mostly professional women. I guess the problem is mainly in northwestern states.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:54 am | Report abuse |
  4. nolimits3333

    Republican governors cutting education budgets leads to fewer jobs for women.

    April 23, 2012 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
    • raceisamyth

      Public schools do not teach. Thats why they cut funding. History teachers cant even teach real history...and the public schools think sociology is more important than physics. Thats why

      April 25, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. SS agent seeking work

    There are plenty of women's jobs in Columbia; just pay them.

    April 22, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Meg

    Frankly I am offended by all of the people who are basically saying that women don't deserve jobs and that the men should get jobs first. I have a degree in Chemistry and am about to start graduate school. So, even though I have a degree you think that I don't deserve to get a job simply because I am female? I work at a hardware store while I am in school and I get so sick of men coming in and assuming that not one of the female workers know anything. Nearly all the trainers in my store are female, we are the ones who know what can and can't be done and why. But I also know for a fact that men with less experience than me still make more than me....

    I do not like Obama and would love to see him lose in November, but I don't see this as a problem caused by him. Sure he could have something to do with jobs vanishing but its the employers who decide who won't keep their job. If the employer thinks the same way as many of the customers that come into my store then women are the first out the door.

    April 22, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Sensible

      Yes, that is correct. Women are the first to go. This is because of all the period time off, menopause time off, moody and crabby days time off. Women call off 10 to 20 times more than men.

      April 22, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tired of being marginalized

    I am a male, graduated from HS in '76. At the time, it was not necessary to continue to go on to college, as a person could get a Union job and earn a decent family wage. Then came Reagan, who I mistakenly supported, and he started the union killing movement. Soon, within 10 years, it became necessary for both husband and wife to work to support the family. Equal opportunity soon made it necessary to hire women, train them and make them more valuable to the employer. Under educated men were relegated to the back of the line. Particularly white men. Society had to make good for 1000's of years of male dominance. Particularly white males. So here I am, in my mid 50's, with no discernible skills. I've had in excess of 50 jobs in my life. And as far as any future employers are concerned, I have no discernible skills. I did, along the way, get 2 years of college in. In computeres. Oops, those skills are obsolete. Who do I shoot 1st? I'm thinking my ex-wives, who had LESS education, and have 6 figure incomes.

    April 22, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Weird. My dad's around the same age and dropped out of college to earn nearly a six figure salary. What's your problem again?

      April 22, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • All For Skills => Employment

      I empathized with the first half of your statement, yet don't understand how you managed to segue off into the direction you took things . . .

      April 22, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Pat Evans

    The jobs for women are where they have always been, in the kitchen. Duh...

    April 22, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  9. RFrazierSr

    I think we are all overlooking the real issue. I see politicians, news reporters trying to compartmentalize this matter with "returning vets", "women", "minorities" needing to be hired. Let's get to the real meat of the problem. AMERICANS period need jobs. You could make valid reasons that each of the groups and more need help with jobs. The only thing to resolve this will be for an abundance of jobs to be available for everyone. And before someone makes the comment there are jobs out there, I am not talking about working at McDonalds. While I agree a job is better than none, realistically, if you have a mortgage, children, you can't support yourself off McDonalds unless you're the manager there. In the 90's when people were working we weren't attempting to divide this into groups. Whenver we stop this, there will be less division in the country. We have this way of dividing the groups by labeling things, "hoodies" being a reason to shoot a person, vets needing work, women needing work, minorities needing work. For me, that says the country itself needs jobs.

    April 22, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jin lee

    This is the USA not china!

    April 21, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Berwaldo Hilgenstaden

    The problem here is that if you take the percentage of men vs woman who may or may not have varying degrees in numerous industries the facts may and may not be distorted one way or another. For instance if 38.17% of woman attending college receive a diploma in housekeeping for example and 89.347% of men receive a diploma and then continue onto law school and become attorneys, then you see the majority of the minority would end up getting pregnant and staying at home anyway. Realizing this and that, it is obvious that at least 99.873% of all women should simply save their money and the taxpayers and stay home. This would give a better teacher to student ratio for the men attending college. It goes without saying that anyone from a third world country should simply stay at home and sleep all day like they do in mexico.

    April 21, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bert

    a l l   t h e   w O m e n ' s   j O B S   a r e   I N   C o l o m B i A

    April 21, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Juan valdez

    there is plenty of work to do on the farm for woman. what is this problem

    April 21, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Les

    The problem with the story is that it continues the myth of gender bias. Jobs are jobs and it makes not a bit of difference whether they are held by males or females. The real story is about the failure of trickle down economy and failure of the wealthy to provide decent wage full time jobs to either men or women.

    BTW, lroy, President Obama is mixed race like most Americans. Not African-American. However, race affiliation is a non-issue according to the law. If we stopped using stupid labels for this group or that group, it would go a long way toward removing bias of all types and assure that jobs were filled by the most competent people.

    the law> So far as the KFC manager's policy of rejecting non-Spanish speakers as employees goes> Did you report this to the state labor board and the corporate office? I would guess not.

    April 21, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ezo

      I don't think the story perpetuates any myth. It simply points out the fact that the pace of recovery for jobs traditionally represented by women lags the recovery of those dominated by men: manufacturing and construction. The article doesn't hypothesize cause. Some possibilities for cause: 1. Since 75% of the jobs lost were male-dominated, perhaps it's natural assume they would account for most of the recovery; 2. Perhaps more women have chosen not to return to the workforce, at least to those jobs they traditionally held.

      April 21, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Les

        Your right. What I was referring to as "perpetuating a myth" was meant to emphasize the fact that so long as we continue using gender or race specific labels the myth that specific jobs should only be held by a certain type of person will continue to cause bias in hiring practices.

        If the person applying for a job was being hired on the basis of knowledge and/or alone, there would be no need for a conversation targeting anyone but the generic unemployed person. One way to accomplish this is to take written applications and then set up interviews so the interviewer cannot see the applicant who would answer the questions through a voice disguising com system.

        Then only those that are qualified would be hired regardless of any other consideration. Fair and doable.

        April 22, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Haha

    Ask the Secret Service.

    April 21, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Butch Tina

    Woman now have to compete against all the immogrants coming into this country like the mexicans, hispanic, egyption, syrian, and other low class third world counties. They end up taking all the non-skilled service jobs.....

    April 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maya

      So, despite the fact that women get more college and advanced degrees than men, you still think that women are relegated to unskilled service jobs? Can I ask you a question? Are you stupid, or just ignorant?

      April 21, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • Butch Tina

        I have a masters degree in Psychology. What do you have? finish your GED program yet?

        April 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • Enrique

        I have yet to meet any mexicanos or egyptions who are highly educated. If they are, most admit that they paid off their professors to get their diploma. Ask anyone in india about that.

        April 21, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • bdm

        Ann, dear, don't tell someone to use spell check if you use the phrase "posts is". Ask an English teacher if you don't understand. If you can't find the English teacher, ask a smart 3rd grader.

        April 21, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • kevin23

        psychology is a joke, thats why woman get that degree, thats why females cant get jobs. lol

        April 22, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oy

      & right there is your problem, Tina. You have a Master's in Psychology. Big deal. Go get your Ph.D. since everyone knows that if you're going to do psychology then you're going to need a Ph.D. By the way, someone who likes to flaunt a Master's degree should at least know how to spell immigrants.

      April 21, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Habib Abdula

    Women going to college is simply a waste of money. They end up getting pregnant and staying at home. What a waste of time and money.

    April 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Educated w/ kids and NO regrets

      Oh how enlightened. So should we all just stay home, uneducated so that we are easier to control, with our heads covered in burkas?

      April 21, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Habib Abdula

        Yes! And you may cover your head with a hijab or a babooshka whichever you choose. There is always plenty of housework to be done. and don't forget about the laundry!

        April 21, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • lucianne

      sometimes they do get pregnant – and go back to work. they are overall doing way better at college and after then men and in twenty years or so, you had better hope you are good at doing the laundry yourself. i hope you like wearing the burqua. and – if you don't like the culture here, what with successful women and all that, maybe you should find another country to live in.

      April 21, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  18. ormaybeitsjust

    Now more women than men get college degrees, and more women than men get advanced degrees. During a recession jobs like construction and manufacturing are lost, but the service sector jobs are spared. During the recent bout of unemployment far more men lost their jobs then women, hence it only makes sence that during a rebound men would gain more jobs then women. In my profession (accounting) women now make up more than 60% of the workforce and even more of the college graduates. White male college graduates are a thing of the past, haha, that was so like 60 years ago. Go to any college campus and look around at our future.

    April 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • joshua

      At my college it was 54% female, but still when I looked around the Physics and Engineering buildings it was ~85% the other way around. I'm not worried.

      April 23, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  19. Simpleton

    One of the reasons I think, is Women probably take more sick leave, family leave, demand seprate rest rooms, etc, etc, and need equal pay as men, small businesse cannot afford them. Given a choice they would always hire a man !

    April 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • s

      Your screen name seems appropriate.

      April 21, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • Simpleton

        This article was trying to solve a puzzle, as to why women are employed in lesser number, so I am just pointing out some of the probable causes in simplistic way, that is all.

        April 22, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Butch Tina

      Simpleton, I agree with you...Besides myself, we have 3 other women in our company and between them calling off work constantly for their periods, "oh I don't fee good today" and other complete nonsense they are complete time wasters. As each one quits or gets fired they are all being replaced with men.

      April 21, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • charlenemartin

        So if a woman doesn't have a period and doesn't want children (I have kept that commitment for 25yrs), and is career-driven – what then?

        April 21, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • geoffbeneze

      Oh Maya, you are ever the gracious image of woman.

      With your mouth, it's little wonder you're not able to find a job.

      April 21, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • lucianne

      Wow! The Tea Party in all its bigotry is certainly out in force here! A woman would have the nerve to ask for the same pay as a man for doing the same job? Really? How 1968 of her. She really ought to ask for more, since she is probably worth it.

      April 21, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • geoffbeneze

        do you suppose, Ms. Lucianne, that you can define, in any rational terms, just what the Tea Party is?

        Beyond that, it has now been well established that the average pay for a woman averages, beyond dispute, more than the wages of male peers.

        So, rather than acting the eternal wounded victim, you might wish to learn some new facts and reevaluation your mental fictions.

        April 22, 2012 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
  20. PantyRaid

    They need to leegal1ze p r0sti tut i0n again.

    April 21, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Habib Abdula

      I agree!!! that is the perfect job for a woman!

      April 21, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
      • Ezo

        I wonder if your mother would appreciate your comment.

        April 21, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Habib Abdula

    Women are also pretty good at doing laundry.

    April 21, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  22. Habib Abdula

    A woman's job is at home. The workforce is no place for a woman unless it is a cleaning or cooking job.

    April 21, 2012 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Workingwoman

      How funny is this!?

      April 21, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
      • u r an idiot

        Not funny.. but very true.

        April 21, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  23. DFWDelia

    I consider being a housewife and stepmom to my husband's five kids to be a fulltime job. It's probably the most important job a girl can have.

    April 21, 2012 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Workingwoman

      AGAIN: How funny is this?!

      April 21, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
      • u r an idiot

        again, very funny and very true.

        April 21, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Simpleton

      What they mean by Job is the one where they can collect all kinds of taxes to the Govt. from the payroll, not non paying jobs which don't contribute to taxes.

      April 21, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ren

      I feel so sad for you that you believe cleaning up after others is the most important job a woman can have. While you're a domestic servant, the rest of us women will live lives of the mind and actually contribute to society.

      April 22, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • geoffbeneze

        Ren: What an arrogant piece of work you are.

        Do you revile your mother the same as you do other Mothers?

        I feel sad for you that you'll never understand the bond, that you likely are unable to understand the satisfaction of "service". In your arrogance, you decree all others to be less fortunate than you, indeed that they are lesser humans because of the job they chose.

        It's such an enlightening approach, the hallmark of a wounded soul and a stunted ego.

        I feel so sad for you...

        April 22, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      And then there are the women who are educated enough to work both outside AND inside the home.

      April 22, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  24. adair

    In the state of Texas teachers jobs were lost because of the Republican controlled Texas State government as well as Rick Perry our illustrious governor. They refused to dip into the rainy day fund to save teacher's jobs.

    April 20, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Wait, women can only do teaching jobs, so eliminating those positions means there are no jobs for women? Have you noticed it's 2012?

      April 22, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  25. lroy

    Women were spared the worse because we're not working to begin with. So...we all stay at home (kids, cats, Mom & Dad...).

    April 20, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  26. j m

    hey look its a woman speaking out about equality... way to go you..... good job.... your the reason there still is inequality. Stop beating the horse lady no one cares i promise. wait.... maybe someone does..... nope just checked..... sorry

    *the law*
    Agreed. buddy of mine couldnt get a job working at KFC becuase the store had all hispanic employees and he would have a problem communicating with them becuase they dont speak the language. ITS KFC!!! thats like a staple for hard working english speaking AMERICANS

    April 20, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Wastrel

    Let's censor the comments on this article.

    April 20, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • PantyRaid

      It wont even tell you when you're being censored sometimes.

      April 21, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
      • All For Skills => Employment

        I also don't understand how most ridiculous comments are not being censored in the first place. It's like CNN.com tries to stop intelligent conversation yet lets the trash surface for some reason . . .

        April 22, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  28. the law

    WHAT?? give me a break.... should say: Where have all the White folks jobs gone.... minoritys have first bids, I lost a job I was trying for to "A" minority... I new the company and they had percentages to follow..

    remember what Obama said? time to level the playing field.. THANK YOU White woman for voting for him because he is a nice guy....

    April 20, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • lroy

      Please don't thank me, because I did not vote for Obama. You can thank all the BLACK people, who voted for Obama because well...he's BLACK

      April 20, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • 8BallnCornerPocket

        Yes because not a single white person voted for him.

        April 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ezo

      Stop it. Time for some tough love: Your problem has nothing to do with Obama. It's YOU! Get up. Stop complaining how the "Man" is holding you down and get yourself educated! If the company you "knew" so well told you that, they were trying to get rid of you for other reasons. Yea. It's you!

      April 21, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |