Women's Employment Numbers Are Up, But Don't Get Too Excited

There's good but not great news for women in May's jobs report: employment is up, which is obviously superior to down, but the new jobs aren't exactly enviable.

Women acquired 80,000 positions — that's nearly half of last month's jobs — and the adult women's unemployment rate fell to 6.5 percent, the lowest level since January 2009. Yay! Pats on the back all around.

BUT "these kinds of numbers aren’t enough to jumpstart the recovery for the millions of Americans who are unemployed – or the new workers graduating this month," the National Women's Law Center points out. Downer.

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175,000 jobs were added to the economy in May, on par with the average monthly gain over the last six months. If it continues, we won't close the jobs gab until 2022, the Hamilton Project estimates. Black and Hispanic women and single moms still have unemployment rates that are much higher than when the recession started in December 2007. And more than half of May's job growth was concentrated in low-wage areas: retail trade (+27,700), temporary help services (+25,600), and food service and drinking places (+38,100). In fact, nearly half of the job growth for women this year has been in low-wage positions, as opposed to 23% of jobs gained by men.

Related: the Equal Pay Act was signed into law by President John F. Kennedy as an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act 50 years ago today. Women still make 77 cents to the dude dollar.

[USA Today, NWLC]

Image via Chubykin Arkady/Shutterstock.