11.4% Male Unemployment Rate in the United States

-- Construction site - Man and Woman workers --A piece of data that isn't mentioned too often in the media is the fact that the unemployment rate for men is MUCH higher than the unemployment rate for women in the United States.

How much higher?

In the October unemployment report, it was revealed that the unemployment rate for men was 11.4%, while the unemployment rate for women was just 8.8%.

This is the largest such gap since at least 1948, which is when this information first started being tracked by the BLS.

Of the 7.3 million jobs lost during the "Great Recession", 5.3 million have been lost by men. This means that nearly 73% of ALL of the jobs lost from December of 2007 until last month have been lost by men.

The rate of job losses for men in the United States has been so severe that women now constitute nearly half (49.9%) of the work force in the United States. According to the Wall Street Journal, women should outnumber men in the work force "soon".

So what's going on here? Why is there such a disparity between the male and female unemployment rates in the United States?

There are a number of factors at play here. The biggest reason for the difference is the fact that many of the male-dominated sectors, especially manufacturing and construction, have suffered heavy job losses during the "Great Recession".

A number of decades ago, many American households were structured like this: the male would be the sole "breadwinner", while the female would stay at home with the family.

Times have changed, and now many American households have to rely on two incomes in order to stay afloat.

We are seeing a complete reversal now in many households, as the male has lost their job and is staying home with the kids, while the female is acting as the sole breadwinner of the family. This is being played out in many homes across America.

In addition, the participation of females in the workforce has grown steadily throughout the years. In 1975, just 40% of the workforce was female. Less than 35 years later, females have nearly achieved parity, and will soon become the majority.

A recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal by David Paul Kuhn makes the case that recent government stimulus has done nothing to halt the trend of rising male unemployment in the country.

The editorial notes that more than 40% of "stimulus jobs" were going to women, even though men had accounted for over 70% of the total job losses in the country since the end of 2007. Kuhn also notes that women's groups in the country "lobbied hard" against President Obama's "shovel ready" stimulus program.

What actions, if any, should the US government take to help bring the 11.4% figure back down to earth?

Source: WSJ.com Editorial - The Jobless Gender Gap

Photo: sylvar

Filed under: The Economic Meltdown

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