Recession Deepens Workforce Gender Shifts

Every month, some of the millions of unemployed Americans decide to stop looking for work, even if they haven’t found a job. This means they’re no longer counted as “unemployed,” as they now fall into the “exited the workforce” category. And turns out, men are now leaving the workforce faster than women, a historical shift.

Elizabeth Eaves
, writing at Forbes, says:

In March 2009, the BLS reported that 1,162,000 women and 1,238,000 men had shifted from “looking” to “stopped looking” in the preceding month. So not only are men and women now exiting the labor force at roughly equal rates, but if current trends continue, men will start doing so even more. The increase in the number of women dropping out from December 2007 to March 2009 was 38%. The increase in the number of men dropping out was 90%.

Plus, she says, the number of men who have lost their jobs since the recession began far outweighs the number of women. Granted, this is because the jobs that have disappeared have been in manufacturing and construction, typically male-dominated industries, but it does have the side effect of creating untold numbers of female-breadwinner households. And this may have an effect on family dynamics or even federal labor law.

In media, we have no statistics to say how many male publicists are out of work compared to female, but it’s certainly an interesting trend and one to be aware of.