It's not. Men, minorities, young people, and the under-educated suffered the most in the Great Recession, just like they did in every downturn for the past 30 years.
Perhaps it's finally time to retire the phrase "mancession."
During the past few years, that grisly portmanteau has become a popular shorthand for the way men seemed to suffer a special degree of misfortune during the Great Recession. Male-dominated industries, particularly construction, had been at the heart of the housing bust and the ensuing downturn, and their job prospects diminished more as a result. Hence, a new turn of phrase was born.
And it is accurate. Men's employment did indeed crash further than women's. But here's why we might want to consider putting "mancession" on ice: It turns out men have gotten the brunt of every economic downturn for the past thirty years. In other words, every recession has been a "mancession."
That's one of the major points in a recent working paper released by a group of researchers from the University of California, Davis. The team gathered data from the five recessions between 1979 and 2011 in order to see which demographic groups experienced the worst swings in unemployment as the economy deteriorated. They broke their data down by age, sex, education, and race. And year to year, recession to recession, the results stayed remarkably consistent.