Washington, DC

—According to


by the

Institute for Women’s Policy Research

(IWPR) of the June employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for both women and men improved in May compared to April. Of the 175,000 total jobs added to nonfarm payrolls, women gained 82,000 jobs (47 percent) while men gained 93,000 jobs (53 percent). For the first time since December 2008, the unemployment rate for women who head households without a spouse fell below ten percent.

Women’s employment growth in May was aided by growth in professional and business services (33,000 jobs), education and health services (15,000 jobs), leisure and hospitality (15,000 jobs), and retail trade (10,000 jobs).

According to the household survey data reported by the BLS, among single mothers, the unemployment rate fell to 9.9 percent in May from 10.3 percent in April. This is the first time that the unemployment rate for single mothers has been less than 10.0 percent since December 2008. 

The unemployment rate for women aged 16 and older decreased to 7.1 percent in May from 7.3 percent in April. The unemployment rate for men aged 16 and older increased slightly from 7.7 percent in April to 7.9 percent in May. As of May, 11.8 million workers remain unemployed.



of the BLS payroll data shows as of May, women have regained 86 percent of the total jobs they lost in the recession from December 2007 to the trough for women’s employment in September 2010. Men have regained more than 66 percent of the jobs they lost between December 2007 and the trough for men’s employment in February 2010.

In the

last year

, from May 2012 to May 2013, of the 2.1 million jobs added to payrolls, 1 million or 48 percent were filled by women, and 1.1 million or 52 percent were filled by men. The gap between women’s and men’s employment is 1.8 million jobs in May, substantially less than at the start of the recession (3.4 million jobs in December 2007).


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.