Women’s Job Growth Freezes at the Start of 2014

As men continued gaining jobs, women’s job growth turned glacial.

This is a bleak winter for women in the workforce – they lost 51,000 jobs on nonfarm payrolls in January. For men, however, it’s toasty in front of the fireplace – they gained 164,000 jobs, for a net increase of 113,000.

But if this is some sort of competitive match, the women still have an edge. They have more than recovered all their jobs lost in the recession, while men have regained 81 percent (4.9 million) of the jobs they lost.

That’s according to an Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) analysis of the federal government’s February employment report. Specifically, women lost:

  • 30,000 in government jobs
  • 14,000 professional and business jobs
  • 3,000 education and health jobs

Even worse, among single mothers, the unemployment rate increased from 8.7 percent in December to 9.1 percent in January. The average number of weeks that a single women spent unemployed and looking for work for was 35.4 weeks – the same as January 2013.

“Women’s job growth over the last 18 months had buoyed the slow but steady growth of the economy,” says IWPR President Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D. “Men’s job gains in January are an encouraging sign of a recovering economy, but both men and women need to see stronger job growth in order to get family incomes growing again.”

But even though women have experienced recent struggles finding jobs, that’s not a reflection on their worth in the workforce, nor is it a sign that we’re heading back in the wrong direction. According to a recent Pew Research Center analysis, young women are starting their careers better educated than their male counterparts, and among workers ages 25 to 34, women’s hourly earnings were 93 percent those of men. That’s still not enough, but women are making great progress and have in many households become the major breadwinners.”

You can read Consolidated Credit’s advice on Surviving a Layoff, and if you need help to pay down your debt and better manage your money, call a certified credit counselor today.