Is this recession especially rough on men? Chris Swan at Reuters objects. All recessions are "mancessions," he writes, and this one has actually widened the income gap between men and women. Both of those statements are true, but I don't think that's the only way to look at this whole mancession debate.
The most important aspect of the mancession -- and I apologize if the look of that awkward liger of a term would seem to squash any serious discussion about it -- is how it portends to shape the she-covery (sorry!). As Swan notes, the biggest losses have been in male-dominated industries like construction and manufacturing, which are always killed in downturns, but have been particularly smashed because this recession started in the housing market. What's more, the only sectors of the private sector that are growing (or have been growing in the last ten years) are women-dominated sectors like health and education.
Let's try this in pictures:
The gap between male and female unemployment is at historic highs, not merely oh-look-it's-just-your-average-recession highs:
And here's one good reason why he/she/recovery is going to be different:
According to the Council of Economic Advisers report on the next decade in jobs, construction will bounce back. But the other top sectors for growth in the next ten years will be in restaurant services, health and education -- all bode well for women. I think that means we are very close to seeing women overtake men as the majority of US payrolls and not look back, for decades.
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