According to an Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR)
of the August employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), women gained 115,000 jobs and men gained 100,000 for a total of 215,000 jobs added in July. The overall unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.3 percent from June.
In July, women’s employment growth was strong in Educational and Health Services (57,000 jobs gained by women), Professional and Business Services (36,000 jobs gained by women), Retail Trade (26,400 jobs gained by women), Leisure and Hospitality (18,000 jobs gained by women), Government (13,000 jobs gained by women), and Financial Activities (13,000 jobs gained by women).
In the last year, from July 2014 to July 2015, of the 2.9 million jobs added to payrolls, more than half were filled by women (53 percent or 1,533,300 jobs) and slightly less than half were filled by men (47 percent or 1,380,900 jobs). Between July 2014 and July 2015 women’s job gains were strongest in Education and Health Services (475,000 jobs added for women), Professional and Business Services (299,000 jobs added for women), Leisure and Hospitality (240,000 jobs added for women), and Retail Trade (187,400 jobs added for women). Men’s job gains were strongest in Professional and Business Services (367,000 jobs added for men), Construction (198,000 jobs added for men), and Leisure and Hospitality (196,000 jobs added for men), Retail Trade (134,300 jobs added for men), and Transportation and Warehousing (126,100 jobs add for men). However, men lost 10,000 jobs in Government during the past year and 60,000 jobs in Mining and Logging during the past year.
According to the household survey data reported by the BLS, the unemployment rate for women aged 16 and older increased to 5.3 percent in July from 5.2 percent in June. The unemployment rate for men aged 16 and older decreased to 5.2 percent in July from 5.4 percent in June. Among workers aged 20 and older, unemployment is higher among black women and men (8.0 percent and 8.8 percent, respectively) and Hispanic women and men (6.8 percent and 6.0 percent, respectively) compared with white women and men (4.3 percent for both women and men). Among single mothers (female heads of households), the unemployment rate increased to 8.0 percent in July from 7.8 percent in June. Unemployment for single mothers is substantially lower than its peak five years ago, 13.4 percent in July and August 2010. The unemployment rate for single mothers is not seasonally adjusted and can fluctuate due to small sample sizes in the household survey.
The overall labor force participation rate remained steady at 62.6 percent in July from June. Women’s labor force participation rate remained at 56.7 percent in June and July, but remains 2.7 percentage points lower than the 59.4 percent rate in December 2007, at the start of the Great Recession. Men’s labor force participation rate remained steady at 69.0 percent in June and July, but remains 4.1 percentage points lower than the 73.1 percent rate in December 2007.
As of July, 8.3 million workers remain unemployed and, of these, 2.2 million (26.9 percent) have been unemployed for 27 weeks or longer, usually referred to as the long-term unemployed. This share has declined by 6.1 percentage points in the past year, from 33.0 percent in July 2014. An additional 6.3 million workers are working part-time in July for reasons such as slack work or unfavorable business conditions, inability to find full-time work, or seasonal declines in demand. In the past year 1.1 million fewer workers report involuntary part-time work for these reasons, a substantial decline from 7.4 million in July 2014.