Creating Fewer Jobs For Women, Younger Workers
Immediate Release: Wednesday,
August 31, 2005
Erskine, 202-293-5380 x115
Washington, DC: The economic rebound that began
almost four years ago is weaker than the four previous recoveries, particularly
for women and younger workers, according to a new study by the Center for
Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
The report, "Gender Bias in the Current Economic Recovery? Declining Employment Rates for Women in the 21st Century," compared employment growth at this point in the recovery with its
performance in the four prior economic recoveries (1969-74, 1973-78, 1980-84 and
1990-94). By this point in the last three recoveries, the employment rate
matched or exceeded its pre-recession high point, but not so for the current
"If the labor market had performed as well
during this recovery as it has in the past, about 4.3 million more people would
be employed today," said economist Heather Boushey, lead author of the
During the most recent recession and recovery
there were four major industries that lost more than 5 percent of employment:
durable goods, non-durable goods, information, and administrative and waste
services. In each of these, women have lost a disproportionate share of the jobs
over the course of the recession and recovery.
At this point in the recovery from the 1990-91
recession, the weakest prior post-war recovery, payroll employment among women
was already up by 6.6 percent. In the current recovery, employment has only
increased by 1.5 percent. The record is even worse in the private sector, where
payroll employment has increased by just 0.7 percent, compared to 6.6 percent in
the last recovery. If this pattern continues, it will seriously limit the
ability of women to reduce the gender gap in economic outcomes.
Decreased female employment is likely to be due
to fewer jobs, rather than mothers choosing to leave work. Employment rates have
dropped for women without children nearly as much as for mothers.
Employment rates for younger workers have dropped
during the current recovery, while they have actually risen rapidly for older
workers. This also stands in contrast to earlier business cycles, which
reflected a general trend for older workers to retire earlier as our economy
gets more productive. Now, due to shrinking 401(k)s and rising health care
costs, older workers are staying on the job. At the same time, younger workers
are not finding their place in the labor market.
access to the report see: "Gender Bias in the Current Economic Recovery? Declining Employment Rates for Women in the 21st Century."
for Women's Policy Research today released a new analysis of
how the 2004 gender wage gap fits into historical trends.
The Center for Economic
and Policy Research is an independent, nonpartisan think tank that was
established to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and
social issues that affect people's lives.