The economic decline of the US is beginning to affect women.
August 29, 2012, 15:35 EST
Women are backsliding in the new US economy, losing jobs in sectors where they have traditionally held a firm hold. The US economy, while dealing with a significant depression, is expected to add jobs within the following areas—registered nurses, retail salespersons, home health aides and personal care aides. While women have held a dominant position in retail, they are beginning to lose ground to men.
While job loss is split evenly between men and women, men are regaining jobs in growth areas while women aren’t. According to a report by the National Women’s Law Center: “since the recovery began in June 2009, men have gained 395,600 jobs in retail—almost 2.5 times the number of jobs that women have lost (163,400) in the same period.”
In sectors such as construction and local governments, men lost jobs at a slower rate than women. The sole exception to these patterns is state government, a sector of the economy in which women have added jobs during the recovery while men have lost them.
Reports also show that married men show higher rates of finding employment than married women with children—in other words, the new economic conditions in the US are discriminating against women by supporting out-dated gender norms that men should be the main breadwinners in society. Women are expected to find jobs correlated to old-fashioned ideas about “women’s work”—home health aides and personal care aides. This negatively impacts the situation of women, given the astronomical rise in the number of single or divorced women in the United States.
The Romney campaign has attempted to use the data to its advantage, promoting that women have lost 7 times as much in the job market as men, in an effort to smear Obama. Romney’s policies, as feminists have noted, are not expected to be in women’s favor either. Women’s unemployment stands at 1.14 million—the highest in 25 years.