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After 'mancession,' women losing out in recovery

July 6, 2011 at 1:05 PM ET

Pew Research Center /

We know the weak economic recovery hasn’t been much of an upturn for anyone who wants a job. But after a recession that was so tough on men it was dubbed a "mancession," it is women who are having by far the hardest time in the recovery.

From June 2009 –- when the recession was officially declared over --  to May 2011, men gained about  768,000 jobs, while women lost 218,000 jobs, according to a report issued Wednesday by the Pew Research Center.

That’s a switch from the recession of December 2007 to June 2009, a period in which men lost more than 5 million jobs, while women lost just over 2 million jobs, according to calculations based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

The lopsided trend is something we first reported on in January.

Of course, no one is seeing a jobs bonanza, and the meager gains by men aren’t nearly enough to offset the millions of jobs that were lost. The official unemployment rate of 9.1 percent has fallen only slightly from its peak of 10.1 percent in late 2009. And whle men have done better than women in the recovery, their jobless rate is still higher than the rate for women.

Pew researchers say it’s not entirely clear why men are scoring more jobs than women in the recovery. Women have lost more jobs in certain sectors, such as government jobs. Men have gained more jobs than women in two key fields: professional and business services, and education and health services. 

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