Why the New York Times is calling this downturn a ‘shecession’

In The News

By: Nicole Lyn Pesce

Recession? More like shecession, according to the New York Times.

While Friday’s jobs report was devastating across the board, with another 20.5 million jobs wiped away in April as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, a demographic breakdown of the unemployment numbers reveals that the hardest-hit workers were women, particularly women of color.

The national unemployment rate stands at 14.7%, at least. (Some reports put the unofficial jobless rate at more than 20% already.) But when viewed by gender, the rate for women hit 15.5% in April, compared with 13% among men. Women of color fared even worse, with the jobless rate for Hispanic women at 20.2%, and black women at 16.4%. And this is the first time since 1948 that the female unemployment rate has reached double digits, according to the National Women’s Law Center.

In fact, women accounted for more than half (55%) of the more than 20 million jobs lost last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

So the New York Times dubbed this downturn the first ever “shecession” on Saturday. It quoted C. Nicole Mason, president and chief executive of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, who told the paper, “We should go ahead and call this a ‘shecession.’”

Read More