Mark Perry, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, points to possible sectoral shifts in the economy, and to the fact that women now outnumber men in college, as indications that future recessions will also be “mancessions.”
“If we are talking about this continuing and increasing college degree gap, that would shift in favor of women being better prepared for the knowledge-based economy and being in positions that are more resistant to a downturn,” Perry said. The unemployment rate last month for people 25 and over without a high school diploma was 14 percent. Those having college and graduate degrees had just 4.6 percent unemployment.
Still, the severity of the gender gap could simply reflect the unique nature of the downturn. “They’re not all going to be led by financial crashes, real estate crashes, and construction crashes,” said Heidi Hartmann, president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.