Facing a double-digit deficit among female voters, likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has accused the White House of waging an economic "war on women." Since Obama took office in January 2009, he's charged, an amazing 92 percent of all job losses have been among women.
He's absolutely right. In the last 26 months, U.S. payrolls have shrunk by 740,000 jobs and of those, 683,000 belonged to women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
But Romney should be careful with his talking point. All those women who lost work? About two-thirds of them were laid off from government jobs. And a lot of them lived in states governed by Republicans.
The Romney campaign is counting job losses that occurred literally the day Obama took office, which is a bit like blaming the fire fighter for not traveling back in time to stop the fire. It also ignores the fact that, before women started losing work en masse, millions of men had already been handed pink slips. Between December 2007 and January 2009, about 3.3 million men lost their jobs, versus 1.2 million women. Was President Bush waging a war on Y chromosomes? Hardly. That's just the natural pattern of a recession. Male dominated fields like construction and manufacturing are more sensitive to the ups and downs of the economy, so when times get tough, their jobs tend to disappear faster, and in larger numbers. Women, who are concentrated in fields like healthcare, government, and education, tend to feel the pain less severely.