Washington, DC

—According to an

Institute for Women’s Policy Research



of the November employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), although the total number of jobs lost in the recession has been recovered, men are still short 71,000 jobs from the start of the recession.  In October, men gained 87,000 jobs on nonfarm payrolls, while women gained 127,000 for an increase of 214,000 total jobs in October. Women, who completed their jobs recovery in October 2013,

have gained 50 percent more jobs

than they lost since the start of the economic downturn.

In October, the overall labor force participation rate increased slightly to 62.8 percent, from 62.7 percent in September. Women’s labor force participation rate increased from 56.7 percent in September to 57.0 percent in October, which is

2.4 percentage points lower

than the 59.4 percent rate at the start of the recession in December 2007. Men’s labor force participation rate was 69.1 percent in October, or

4.0 percentage points lower

than the 73.1 percent rate in December 2007.

“The economy is consistently adding over 200,000 jobs each month, but the recovery for men has remained painfully slow,” said

IWPR President

Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D


“Working women continue to be the engine behind the economic recovery.”

In a

new briefing paper

analyzing men’s and women’s job gains and losses in the first five years of the recovery (June 2009-June 2014), IWPR found that, were it not for women’s strong presence in a few growing industries, women would have fared much worse in comparison to men than they did in the recovery, since in



men’s rate of employment growth has been higher than women’s

. Men also show more job growth across more industries, while women’s job growth has been concentrated in fewer, yet high-growth, industries, such as Education and Health Services.

The paper also looks at

average wages

of men and women in different industries. Men and women have both gained the most jobs in industries with mid-level wages, such as Professional and Business Services, and have seen slower job growth (or losses) in higher paying industries, such as Information, Financial Activities, and most significantly, Government.

During the

five years of the recovery

, women lost three in five of Government jobs lost. Since the start of the Great Recession in 2007, Government jobs have declined in total by 486,000, standing in strong contrast to the Government jobs added in the aftermath of the 2001 recession, when Government jobs were up by 747,000 after three years of recovery. IWPR estimates that, if Government jobs were not contracting, an additional 486,000 people would likely be employed today.

“Both women and men were hit hard by the loss of good paying jobs in the public sector,” said Dr. Hartmann. “But women were able to regain more of their jobs in the recovery because of their concentration in a few high-growth industries with mid-level or low wages.”

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.