According to the IWPR analysis of the September employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth remained anemic in August for men, but accelerated for women. Of the 169,000 total jobs added to nonfarm payrolls in August, women gained 125,000 jobs (74 percent) while men gained 44,000 jobs (26 percent). According to the revised BLS numbers for July and previous months, women gained 103,000 jobs on average in May through August (66 percent of the total job gains), while men gained an average of 53,000 jobs across the four months (34 percent).
Women’s employment growth in August was aided by growth in Education and Health Services (49,000 jobs added for women), Retail Trade (36,400 jobs added for women), Professional and Business Services (24,000 jobs added for women), and Leisure and Hospitality (18,000 jobs added for women).
IWPR analysis of the BLS payroll data shows as of August, women have regained 99 percent (2.7 million) of the total jobs they lost in the recession from December 2007 to the trough for women’s employment in September 2010 (2.72 million). Men have regained 69 percent (4.2 million) of the jobs they lost between December 2007 and the trough for men’s employment in February 2010 (6 million). In the last year, from August 2012 to August 2013, of the 2.2 million jobs added to payrolls, 1.2 million or 53 percent were filled by women, and 1.0 million or 47 percent were filled by men. The gap between women’s and men’s employment is 1.5 million jobs in August, substantially less than at the start of the recession (3.4 million jobs in December 2007).
According to the household survey data reported by the BLS, the unemployment rate for women aged 16 and older decreased to 6.8 percent in August from 7.0 percent in July. The unemployment rate for men aged 16 and older remained steady at 7.7 percent in August. Among single mothers (female heads of households), the unemployment rate rose to 11.0 percent in August from 10.5 percent in July.
As of August, 11.3 million workers remain unemployed. There has been improvement over the past year in the average (mean) number of weeks spent unemployed and looking for work from 39.3 weeks in August 2012 to 37.0 weeks in August 2013. (The median number of weeks declined from 18.2 weeks in August 2012 to 16.4 weeks in August 2013.)