Men Are Being Laid Off in Droves, According to LA Times

-- construction worker leaving the construction site --One of the most interesting developments of the "Great Recession" is the striking difference between the number of men that are being laid off vs the number of women that are being laid off.

The media is starting to pick up on this startling phenomenon, with the LA Times recently dubbing it the "Great Mancession".

Not too long ago (think 2006), women had a higher unemployment rate than men.

Into the second half of 2007, the unemployment rates for males and females were still fairly similar. The male unemployment rate was slightly higher, but it was certainly nothing noteworthy.

Since the beginning of 2008, the two groups (male and female unemployment) have completed diverged, and now males have a drastically higher unemployment rate than females.

According to, the unemployment rate in May 2009 for males was 10.5%, while the unemployment rate for females was 8.0%. That is a pretty dramatic difference.

As a matter of fact, this "matches the largest historical gender gap in unemployment in America's history".

The LA Times recently stated that three out of every four jobs lost nationwide since the beginning of the recession have been lost by men.

So what's going on here?

Why are men being laid off in droves?

The answer, according to the LA Times, lies in the fact that industries that have a high percentage of male workers have been absolutely destroyed since the beginning of the "Great Recession".

Manufacturing and construction, which are two male-dominated industries, have been extremely hard-hit by the economic downturn. The dramatic loss of jobs in these two industries (I believe that the construction industry is almost 90% male) have caused the large disparity between male and female unemployment rates in the United States since the beginning of 2008.

The LA Times notes that industries that have a higher % of female workers (health care, education, government) have been able to fare much better during the steep economic decline.

Those who are waiting for the manufacturing and construction industries to turn around may be in for a long wait.

The housing market doesn't look as though it will put in a bottom any time soon, which is an obviously crucial component when it comes to increasing the number of new homes that are being built in the country.

The manufacturing industry won't see a dramatic uptick until economic prosperity and increased consumer confidence return to the country, and who knows when that will be.

Not only do many American households have to do with the loss of the man's earnings, but they also have to come to grips with the fact that females get paid less for the same work (78% of what men make for the same work, according to the LA Times link below).

This has resulted in many American households looking to credit cards to make ends meet, which has resulted in a disastrous uptick in credit card defaults.

All in all - one big mess that will take a very long time to clean up.

Source: LA Times - California Unemployment Rises to Record 11.5% in May

Filed under: General Knowledge

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