Washington, DC

— According to an

Institute for Women’s Policy Research



of the January employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), women gained all 74,000 jobs added to nonfarm payrolls in December, while men lost 1,000 jobs (women’s jobs gains were actually 75,000). Men hold 1.5 million more jobs than women as of December, a number which is substantially less than at the start of the recession, when men held 3.4 million more jobs.

The gender

gap in jobs

has shrunk recently because women’s job growth has accelerated in the last 18 months. As of December, women continue to hold more jobs on payrolls than ever before, and have regained all the jobs they lost during the recession. Men have regained 75 percent (4.5 million) of the jobs they lost during the

Great Recession

(6 million). As job growth proceeds economy-wide, the gap between women’s and men’s employment will likely grow closer to its prerecession level. As of December, 10.4 million American workers remain unemployed.

“Month-to-month, we continue to see women outpace men in job gains,” noted Heidi Hartmann, IWPR President, “but we need more jobs for both men and women. The working age population has grown in the six years since the recession began, and the nation still has millions of unemployed workers, men and women alike, looking in vain for work.”

In December, women’s employment was buoyed by strong growth in Retail Trade (38,500 jobs gained by women), Leisure and Hospitality (18,000 jobs for women), and Professional and Business Services (15,000 jobs added for women). These job gains continue a previously

reported pattern

showing strong gains for women in the fourth year of the recovery. Unusually, Education and Health Services, which has also been a

strong growth industry

for women, showed zero job gains for women and men together in December, and health care alone lost 6,000 jobs in December.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR)

is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women and their families, promote public dialogue, and strengthen communities and societies.