Bulk of Job Losses in September Were for Women, Shows Unequal Impact of Natural Disasters

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 6, 2017

Press Contact: Nicolas Martinez, , 202.785.5100

Washington, DC— The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) analysis of the October employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) finds that in September women lost 41,000 jobs and men gained 8,000 jobs for a total of 33,000 lost in September. In the last six months of 2017 (April-October), men gained 58 percent (484,000 jobs) and women gained 42 percent (352,000 jobs) of all jobs added (836,000 jobs). While the overall unemployment rate dropped from 4.4 percent to 4.2 percent in September, those without jobs must be actively looking for work to be counted in the official unemployment rate.

In September, women gained jobs in Educational and Health Services (19,000 jobs added for women) and Professional and Business Services (8,000 jobs added for), but lost jobs in Leisure and Hospitality (56,000 jobs lost for women), Financial Activities (13,000 jobs lost for women), Retail Trade (10,900 jobs lost for women), and Information (9,000 jobs lost for women). Men gained jobs in Financial Activities (23,000 jobs added for men), Transportation and Warehousing (16,300 jobs added for men), Retail Trade (8,000 jobs added for men), and Educational and Health Services (8,000 jobs added for men), but lost jobs in in Leisure and Hospitality (55,000 jobs lost for men) and Other Services (7,000 jobs lost for men). In a noteworthy change, women gained more jobs than men in the construction industry (6,000 jobs added for women and only 2,000 jobs added for men), while men gained more jobs in government (7,000 jobs added for men and no jobs added for women).

From March to September 2017, women’s job gains were strongest in Educational and Health Services (175,000 jobs added for women), Professional and Business Services (102,000 jobs added for women, yet men’s were stronger at 137,000 jobs added), and Leisure and Hospitality (34,000 jobs added for women). However, during this period women lost jobs in Retail Trade (90,000 jobs lost for women, whereas men gained 50,000 jobs) and Information (22,000 jobs lost for women, only 11,000 lost for men). Over the same time period, men’s job gains were strongest in Professional and Business Services (137,000 jobs), Educational and Health Services (70,000 jobs added for men, though women gained 2.5 times more in this area), and Financial Activities (59,000 jobs added for men, about 5 times more than women gained). Men’s job losses were largest in Information (11,000 jobs) and Nondurable Goods Manufacturing (6,000 jobs lost for men where women gained 18,000 jobs).

Unemployment is much higher among Black women (6.0 percent) and men (6.3 percent), nearly double that of White women and men (3.5 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively). From March-September, Black women’s unemployment rate declined from 6.6 percent to 6.0 percent, but Hispanic women saw an increase in unemployment, from 4.7 percent unemployment rate in March to 5.4 percent in September. Unemployment has remained lowest and relatively steady in the last six months for White women at 3.5 percent. Unemployment rate for single mothers decreased from August to September, from 7.2 percent to 6.5 percent, respectively.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that conducts and communicates research to inspire public dialogue, shape policy, and improve the lives and opportunities of women of diverse backgrounds, circumstances, and experiences.

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